Killer who used 'Devil's Breath' drug to murder Irish dancer jailed for life

Will Taylor
·News Reporter
·3-min read
Adrian Murphy was murdered by Osei and Cristea. (PA/Metropolitan Police)
Adrian Murphy was murdered by Osei and Cristea. (PA/Metropolitan Police)

A “ruthless grifter” who murdered an Irish dancer after meeting him via a dating app and giving him a drug called “Devil’s Breath” has been handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 32 years.

Joel Osei, and his ex-girlfriend and co-defendant Diana Cristea, would use Grindr profiles to meet men to drug and rob them, hoping their victims would be unlikely to report it to the police.

Their robberies had seen them attempt to spend £62,000 on diamonds from New York after drugging a separate, unnamed victim in the days leading up to Adrian Murphy’s death.

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Joel Osei with Adrian Murphy's property after leaving his flat in Battersea. (PA/CPS)
Joel Osei with Adrian Murphy's property after leaving his flat in Battersea. (PA/CPS)
CCTV shows Joel Osei in the lift as he arrived at Adrian Murphy's flat. (PA/CPS)
CCTV shows Joel Osei in the lift as he arrived at Adrian Murphy's flat. (PA/CPS)

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett said Osei and Cristea gave the men scopolamine, a popular drug with robbers and rapists in Colombia, where it is known as “Devil’s Breath”.

The unnamed man was found “virtually naked”, agitated and “talking gibberish” after being drugged. The incident took place separately from Murphy’s murder.

The body of Adrian Murphy was found several days later on the 17th floor of a flat in Battersea, South West London, on 4 June 2019.

Osei, 25, previously of Seven Sisters, North London, and Cristea, 19, of Mill Hill, North London, were found guilty of his murder after a Croydon Crown Court trial.

They were also convicted of administering a poison or noxious substance so as to endanger life, two counts of theft and eight counts of fraud.

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Osei was sentenced on Friday. (PA/Metropolitan Police)
Osei was sentenced on Friday. (PA/Metropolitan Police)
Diana Cristea, 19, was found guilty of Murphy's murder. (PA/Metropolitan Police)
Diana Cristea, 19, was found guilty of Murphy's murder. (PA/Metropolitan Police)

Osei, who had admitted manslaughter, admitted an alternative charge of administering poison with intent to injure, aggrieve, or annoy, and seven counts of fraud.

Cristea will be sentenced for murder, two counts of theft and eight counts of fraud at a later date

Murphy’s brother Robert Murphy said his death had left a “huge void” in the family.

“Adrian brought the love and art of dance to thousands of young people all over the world,” he added in a statement.

“He made so many loyal friends who are so sad at his untimely passing as he was an inspirational Irishman, who was a gifted dancer and choreographer.”

Speaking previously, Detective Chief Inspector Rob Pack said the death appears to be the first scopolamine-related killing in the UK.

Adrian Murphy died in his flat. (PA/Metropolitan Police)
Adrian Murphy died in his flat. (PA/Metropolitan Police)

“Osei and Cristea have been described by the prosecution as a pair of ruthless grifters, and to my mind that is correct,” Pack said.

“In a callous and calculated plan to make what they thought was easy money, they targeted unsuspecting men via dating sites.

“They selected their victims using this method in the belief that the men would be unlikely to report the matter, due to the intimate and personal nature of the meetings.”

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