International Scarface serial killer guilty of fifth murder

Mane Driza, who has been found guilty at the Old Bailey of his fifth murder in Britain.
Mane Driza, who has been found guilty at the Old Bailey of his fifth murder in Britain.

A Scarface fan who went on a three-year killing spree across Europe has been found guilty of his fifth murder in Britain.

Mane Driza, 41, known as Tony Montana after Al Pacino's movie crime kingpin, beat and stabbed fellow Albanian Stefan Bledar Mone, 23, in June 1999.

He used a pick axe handle, lock knife and cheese knife to inflict more than 120 wounds on Mr Mone in a "brutal and merciless" attack at the victim's flat in Wembley, north London.

Mr Mone's six-month pregnant girlfriend Zoe Blay found his body the following day but could only identify him by his distinctive belt buckle.

Jurors, who deliberated for two-and-a-half hours, were told how stonemason Driza had become furious that his flatmate Mr Mone had taken his wedding ring and given it to his partner.

He had moved in with him after his brief marriage to Brazilian cleaner Rosie Driza broke down, the court heard.

In a bizarre twist, it can now be reported that Mrs Driza later became involved with a 60-year-old immigration judge who referred to her as "real chilli hot stuff" in emails.

In 2007, she was cleared at the Old Bailey of charges that she stole two explicit sex videos from the male judge and blackmailed a female judge.

Mrs Driza, who was later deported, was not called to give evidence in her ex-husband's trial.

Jurors heard how Driza's attack on Mr Mone came two years after he shot a father and son dead in his home village and fled to Britain under the assumed name Sokol Drenova.

After killing his third victim - Mr Mone - he took a flight to Italy, where he shot and killed two men at a bar in Catania, Sicily, six months later.

He tried to kill a third man in the bar but his gun jammed, jurors heard.

While in prison in Sicily in 2000, he was interviewed by Scotland Yard about the killing in Britain.

He claimed Mr Mone had been in prison with one of his victims in Albania and had been paid to avenge his death.

According to translators, he said: "He was sure of one thing - that Bledar Mone was paid to kill him, because before this Bledar Mone was in prison together with the man he killed in Albania.

"He went to live with him because he had caused him to gain his trust."

On the day of the killing, Driza claimed Mr Mone had come at him with a knife and struck him with a baseball bat.

An interview transcript stated: "He saw a lot of blood. He does not remember because he lost control of himself. The whole problem was Bledar Mone wanted to kill him.

"First Bledar Mone hit him then he says perhaps he hit him too. He remembers the moment he hit him with the knife."

Referring to the Albanian shootings, Mr Mone's last words to him were: "You have killed so many - two - that's enough now," the court was told.

In 2001, in Albania, Driza was convicted in his absence of two charges of "premeditated murder in complicity of citizens" along with his father.

In June 2002, he was convicted in Sicily of conspiracy to murder Maskaj Artan and Blushaj Albert, and the attempted murder of Maskaj Lefter.

The court heard that Driza's sentence in Italy runs until 2026.

Judge Sarah Munro QC adjourned sentencing at the Old Bailey until April 3 to allow time to consider the legal issues which cross three jurisdictions.

She told the impassive defendant: "As you know the sentence for murder in this country is fixed by law and I will be passing a life sentence upon you.

"The only question for me to resolve is how long a term you should serve as part of that life sentence and what, if any, part during which you have been remanded should count towards that sentence I pass."

Thanking jurors, she said: "There are not many cases where a defendant has four convictions for murder before he is tried for a fifth and there are not many cases where a jury would be allowed to hear about that."

Detective Inspector Garry Moncrieff, of Scotland Yard, said: "Driza has proven himself to be an extremely violent individual who has no hesitation in dealing with any issue or problem he encounters in life by killing.

"He has freely admitted all the murders he has committed but never shown remorse.

"Stefan, a fellow Albanian, had been his friend but there was a disagreement over a wedding ring that went missing; Driza took the theft of this ring as symbolic and an attack on his manhood. Driza dealt with that disagreement in the only way he knew how - with brutal violence.

"He wasn't just trying to teach Stefan a lesson that day, he went out to kill him.

"The force and variety of weapons used left more than 120 wounds on Stefan's body; the jury were in no doubt about his intentions despite his claims of self-defence.

"What is particularly sad is that Stefan was three months away from becoming a father and never had the chance to see his child grow up."

In a victim impact statement, Ms Blay said: "I cannot put into words or begin to explain that day I found Stefan's body, it has traumatised me to this day, I suffer with flashbacks and nightmares."

She said she was so scared that she moved to a new city to feel "safe".

To the defendant, she said: "I so wanted Stefan there when I gave birth to our son, to be proud of me, you stole that from me.

"Christopher, our loving, kind and beautiful son, grew up asking about his father from a very young age, I always told him daddy is in heaven.

"When Christopher was about four years old his goldfish died, we said a few words and then flushed the goldfish down the toilet so he could go to heaven.

"A few days later I found Christopher on the bathroom floor talking to his daddy in the toilet. He thought this was where heaven was, this was truly heartbreaking to watch.

"When Christopher was 14 years of age I told him what happened to his father, I gave him newspaper articles that I had kept.

"When I returned home after giving evidence, Christopher asked me how it went but no more than that. I was shocked and thought he would have been more interested and wanted some questions answered but no, nothing.

"It wasn't till later on that day when speaking to his girlfriend she told me that whenever Christopher thinks about his father and what happened to him, his heart breaks all over again, he gets palpitations and feels like he is going to be sick.

"This is why he does not want to know the full extent of that cruel day you took his father away, the fear his father must have felt and the degree of his father's injuries you caused."