A CHEF has been found guilty of the murder of a young man in a city centre flat.

Francesco D’Agostino, 45, was convicted of murder after stabbing Serxhio Marku to death in Stafford Road, Brighton.

The Italian tried to blame his flatmate Giuseppe Petriccione, 46, for causing the fatal injuries to the 21-year-old.

The pair were both accused of luring the young man to the flat and murdering him.

The Argus:

Both denied the offence, but while Mr Petriccione was found not guilty at Brighton Crown Court, D’Agostino was convicted.

The court previously heard how Mr Marku begged for his life as he was attacked at the address in Brighton.

Evidence from the scene included blood and a handprint discovered outside the flat, suggesting he had tried to hold on as he was pulled back inside.

A neighbour living opposite said she could hear a person screaming “I cannot breathe, what are you doing, I cannot breathe,” on the night of the murder.

Another neighbour, Zoe Pellatt, called 999 after hearing a man pleading: “What did I do?”

The Argus: Serxhio MarkuSerxhio Marku

Mr Marku was found by police lying face down in a pool of his own blood. He had up to 50 blunt force injuries to his head and several stab wounds.

The Albanian, who had gone to the property to sell cocaine, died as ambulance crews rushed him to the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

During the court case, Alan Kent QC, prosecuting, told jurors Mr Marku had been subjected to a sustained attack in which he was stabbed and battered with an assortment of objects including knives, a scaffolding pole, a dumbbell and a barbell.

The Argus: One of the objects believed to have been used to attack Mr MarkuOne of the objects believed to have been used to attack Mr Marku

D’Agostino and Mr Petriccione were caught on camera crawling through back gardens shortly after the attack, which was carried out in the early hours of September 11 last year.

They were arrested nearby by police who launched a murder investigation. 

The pair appeared at Brighton Crown Court, where D’Agostino tried to pin the blame on his flatmate, Mr Petriccione.

He claimed that he had struck Mr Marku with several objects in self-defence, but Mr Petriccione had stabbed the victim, delivering the fatal blow.

The Argus:

Mr Petriccione blamed D’Agostino, who was covered in Mr Marku’s blood.

D’Agostino has now been found guilty of murder. He will be sentenced tomorrow.