A killer nicknamed ‘Ghost’ who murdered an electrician for his £7,000 Rolex in front of his girlfriend has been jailed for at least 35 years.
Danny Pearce, 31, was knifed and shot at while walking home with Stephanie Holland after a night out at Oliver’s Jazz Club in Greenwich, southeast London.
David Egan, 24, and Jordan Bailey-Mascoll, 26, took turns stabbing Mr Pearce when he refused to hand over his luxury timepiece on 15 July 2017.
Danny’s sister Amanda said in her victim impact statement read to the court: “Danny left behind his living family friend girlfriend, and most importantly his daughter
“They say that time’s a healer, not in our case.
“Life really does seem to be getting harder. We have gone through shock, pain and heartache, and prayed so hard that he could just come back.
“He had life in front of him, his plans, dreams. He was a lover of life.
“David Egan has committed the most evil of crimes and we will live with this forever.
“At the moment Danny passed, he took a piece of us all with him.”
Bailey-Mascoll was jailed for life with a minimum of 35 years in 2018 after he was convicted of murdering Mr Pearce by a jury at Woolwich Crown Court.
He had refused to name his accomplice but the other killer was nicknamed ‘Ghost’ during the first trial.
Egan remained at large and was finally charged with murder, robbery and weapons offences in May this year.
Egan was jailed for life on Monday and must serve a minimum term of 35 years before he can be considered for release by the parole board.
He had made a series of online searches in the hours leading up to the killing for ‘Zombie knife’, ‘how to tell if Rolex is white gold’, and ‘Rolex Gold markings’.
The pair also carried out a series of moped robberies between July 11 and 15 armed with knives, a gun or both.
Egan denied involvement in the killing but he was convicted of murder last week after a three week trial at Inner London Crown Court.
He was also convicted of three counts of robbery, two of possession of an offensive weapon, and two firearm charges.
Mr Pearce was about to grab some belongings from his car before ordering an Uber home with Ms Holland when they were ambushed.
As they walked up the road they were confronted by the two killers wearing crash helmets and balaclavas.
“One of them had a pistol in his hand, described as an old fashioned revolver,” said Louis Mably QC, prosecuting.
“The other one had a knife in his hand and in Stephanie Holland’s view it was curved.”
The men shouted: “Give me your watch” at Mr Pearce as they brandished the weapons at the couple.
“Stephanie shouted, ‘Run!’ and ran back towards Nevada Street. As she was running down the street she heard shots fired.
“They were real bullets that were being fired.”
Mr Pearce was chased up and down the road before Bailey-Mascoll stabbed him beside a parked car.
Egan then cornered him on the front steps of a flat where he was knifed again.
Mr Mably said: “Quite by chance there was a camera pointing right at the steps, and it covered the area of the steps and the bonnet of the car.
“There were two things that happened that we would have never been aware about.
“The first, is that as well as the attacks at the bonnet of the car, as well as the steps, there was a lot more chasing up and down the street and that is caught on the CCTV.
“The second is perhaps even more significant, when the footage is examined you can see that the two men actually swap positions and they take it in turns to stab Danny Pearce.
“It was the black car where the struggle took place over the bonnet, and that car was later found to have lots of spots of blood on the bonnet, Mr Pearce’s blood.
“The steps were literally dripping with blood.
“There is a wall on one side and railing on the other. Mr Pearce was trapped on those steps with this defendant attacking him with the knife.
“He has already been stabbed by that stage by Bailey-Mascoll and he knew that he would be stabbed again.
“He was banging on the door hoping someone would let him in, in the end someone did open the door but it was too late.”
The robbers pulled off Mr Pearce’s watch as traumatised Ms Holland rushed back towards her boyfriend in a desperate bid to save him.
“She was wearing high heels, she was running up and down the street trying to protect her boyfriend,” Mr Mably said.
A student in a nearby residence witnessed the attack and attempted to film on her phone.
But when she heard gunshots she dropped to the floor, her phone still recording audio.
A harrowing recording of Mr Pearce’s last moments and his girlfriend’s anguished cries was played in court.
Mr Pearce was dragged into the flat but nothing could be done to save him.
Egan had spent the hours before the murder researching Rolex watches on the internet.
He was up in the early hours of July 15 looking up different gold models including ‘Steelinox.’
In the days leading up to the killing the robbers drove around on a moped, targeting people with expensive watches
They armed themselves with a ‘particularly gruesome’ hunting knife and a gun for the spree.
Jolyon Atkinson was robbed of his Lars & Jensen timepiece by a pillion passenger on a moped wielding a large knife in Surrey Quays four days before the murder.
Bailey-Mascoll’s DNA was later found on the moped and he owned a set of spare keys.
Police tried to arrest him in Catford on August 23, 2017, but he got away after threatening officers with a large knife.
He was finally arrested on September 18 after trying to escape out of a window.
Egan remained at large until May 9 this year.
He had denied involvement in the murder and claimed his online searches of Rolex watches were ‘completely innocent.’
During his trial Bailey-Mascoll had refused to name his accomplice but claimed ‘Ghost’ called the shots and sold on the luxury timepieces.
He insisted he only ever wielded the hunting knife to terrify victims into handing over their valuables and he did not intend to seriously harm Mr Pearce.
Judge Usha Karu told Egan: “CCTV shows how your accomplice spotted Danny Pearce’s watch.
“You turned the moped around, stopped ahead of him and asked him to hand it over.
“He was threatened by a gun, the gun was discharged several times, witnesses described hearing sounds of a firecracker.
“When you did not achieve the desired result he was stabbed repeatedly over the bonnet of a parked car.
“You remained nearby on a moped, cutting off the escape route but Danny Pearce was not going to give in easily.
“He managed to run away and was chased up and down by Bailey-Mascoll with you on support providing assistance if necessary.
“You swapped over and took over attack on the stairs where he was banging on the door begging for help.
“You can be seen lurching and stabbing him about ten times to body with large knife, one injury to his groin artery.
“It was suggested that you were hesitant and egged on by your accomplice, plainly met with strong resistance but you were not deterred.
“Until you took the watch off you did not give up.
“You fled at speed without concern.
“This was savage and sustained violence that cost him his life, there can be no doubt that you were acting together.”
Egan, of Deptford, southeast London, denied but was convicted of murder, three counts of robbery and two of possession of an offensive weapon.
He also denied but was convicted of possessing a gun in a public place, and possessing an imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence.
Detective Inspector Jo Sidaway, said: “This was a truly horrific attack that took place in the street after Danny had enjoyed a night out with his girlfriend and their friends.
“He was subjected to a prolonged attack; the offenders chasing him up and down the street.
“Danny tried to seek refuge in a residential property, but as he did so he was repeatedly stabbed. The level of violence shown towards him was shocking.
“I am pleased that we have secured the guilty verdict that Danny’s family were desperate to hear.
“They are approaching another Christmas, which should be a time for family, without Danny, our thoughts remain with them.
“Danny’s watch has not been found. Detectives would like to speak with anyone who was offered the silver Rolex Datejust 2 2017, worth around £5,000.