Christopher Omoregie, now 28, was convicted of the murder of 15-year-old Sofyen Belamouadden at a busy London Tube station 12 years ago. He was one of three teenagers sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 18 years for the murder of late Sofyen in April 2012 at the Old Bailey.
According to a ruling issued last Thursday (April 21), Christopher Omoregie made “exceptional and unforeseen progress” during his time served.
Mr. Justice Dove recommended that Omoregie’s sentence be reduced by one year in order for him to be eligible for parole sooner.
Late Sofyen was chased into the ticket hall at Victoria Tube station in March 2010 after a fight between two rival school groups, and stabbed to death in front of commuters in a “sustained and vicious attack.”
Following a police parade of the bus attackers, they discovered one of the knives used to stab the teenager in Omoregie’s bag.
“It is clear that the murder of the deceased has had a devastating effect upon his immediate family, who continue to mourn his loss and have difficulty in coming to terms with the events of that day,” Mr. Justice Dove addressed in his ruling.
“The deceased was unarmed and the manner of his death, being hunted down and killed by (Omoregie) and others in the college group, continues to cast a very long shadow over the lives of those who were close to the deceased.” Mr. Justice Dove added.
As a result of the Judge’s recommendation, Omoregie was placed in a therapy program called Psychodrama during his time in prison.
This inspired Dave the rapper to write his ‘Psychodrama’ album, which won the Mercury Prize in 2019.
In Dave the rapper’s acceptance speech, he stated that the album was inspired by his brother’s therapy program and added: “I want to thank my brother Christopher. Even though you can’t be here with us today, I know you are watching this bro.”
According to the therapist who led the course, Christopher Omoregie brought “much warmth, enthusiasm, and humour” to the course and was skilled in “communication, tolerance, warmth, and generosity,” the ruling Judge said.
Early in his sentence, Omoregie referred to his mother and brothers as “protective factors” who had stood by him, and he vowed not to “let them down” again in the future.
As part of a restorative justice program, Omoregie also penned a letter to late Sofyen’s family and invited the judge who presided over his case to the event in jail. They talked about the case during that period, which Omoregie found “cathartic.”
Mr. Justice Dove described Omoregie as a “bright man with a very positive record of behaviour in prison” in a 2020 report.
The report added that Omoregie has enrolled in the Open University for a degree in philosophy and psychology, with the intention of pursuing a master’s degree after completing the course.
The report concluded that Omoregie “shows a very high level of remorse towards the victim and the victim’s family” and had “taken responsibility for his offending”.
Mr. Justice Dove said: “In my view it is clear from the history of the applicant’s activities whilst in prison that not only does he have an exemplary disciplinary record … but also that he has devoted himself to working hard both in relation to his own rehabilitation and the activities and interventions necessary to turn his life around.” in deciding to reduce his tariff.
“He has successfully pursued opportunities in the educational sphere where it is clear that he has an exceptional record of academic achievement whilst in custody.
“This work has been undertaken not exclusively for his own benefit, but also in order to assist and support other prisoners who have been undertaking work necessary for their own rehabilitation.”
The judge continued that Omoregie has “developed a sincere and genuine remorse” for his involvement in Sofyen’s murder, adding: “That remorse is expressed extensively and repeatedly in the documentation, including his participation in the restorative justice programme and preparation of a letter for his victims.
“The considerable steps that the applicant has taken in facing up to his offending, taking responsibility for it and expressing his deeply felt regret for what he did, has undoubtedly been a significant part of the rehabilitation which he has undergone.”
In conclusion, the judge said: “All of the references within the documentation speak powerfully of the clear and obvious change in the applicant, and the fact that he has reformed and rehabilitated himself into a person who has the potential to make a strong and positive contribution to the community.
“Against this background I have no doubt that it is entirely appropriate to conclude that there has been exceptional and unforeseen progress in this applicant.
“This conclusion arises from the evidence of the efforts which he has made in custody to address his offending, improve and change himself, reduce his risks of reoffending and equip himself for a new life in the community, whilst at the same time accepting his responsibility for his offence and expressing his sincere remorse for the undoubted and permanent harm that his crime has caused.”
Omoregie will be eligible to apply to the Parole Board a year earlier as a result of the Judge’s ruling and will be released after the Parole Board determines that he is not a danger to the public.
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