MURDERERS who stabbed an aspiring rapper to death after kicking down his front door have been handed life sentences.

Alinjavwa Siwale, 22, also known as Mr Essex and Swizzino, died in the kitchen of his Colchester home on December 11 last year after suffering stab wounds.

Mr Siwale's brother Suwi was also at the home and suffered a stab wound to his head.

He jumped over a neighbouring fence to get help and was taken to hospital for treatment.

When police arrived on the scene, officers established the front door had been forced open and a search of the Greenstead area began.

Just after 3am, a call was made to the police from a house on Teal Close, reporting someone who had been knocking at the back door of the property for several hours.

An officer from the Essex Police Dog Unit was first on scene, and he detained 25-year-old Sheldon McKay in the garden of the property.

His bloody clothes were immediately seized and he was arrested on suspicion of murder.

McKay was later forensically linked via his clothing to the DNA of the victim Alinjavwa.

Further enquiries with McKay’s associates led to the arrest of 20-year-old Phoenix Lee.

Both men, of no fixed address, were charged with murder and with committing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Read more: Aspiring rapper was 'stabbed with combat knife after front door kicked down'

They were found guilty on all charges following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, despite claiming they acted in self defence.

CCTV showed the pair forcing the front door open at around 12.12am on the morning of the murder.

Just three minutes later, Suwi left the property to get help from a neighbour, while former Great Notley FC player Alinjavwa lay fatally wounded in the kitchen.

Braintree and Witham Times: Victim - Alinjavwa Siwale was a talented musician, the court heardVictim - Alinjavwa Siwale was a talented musician, the court heard

At a sentencing hearing today, Judge Christopher Morgan passed life sentences on both defendants.

Lee will serve a minimum of 24 years, McKay a minimum of 23 years, before they can be considered for parole.

Judge Morgan said: “These violent offences took place in the victim’s home address.

“It is undisputed that from that address Jav Siwale was from time-to-time dealing drugs, but that is no justification for what was to happen in the early hours of December 11 last year.

“Jav Siwale was also a talented musician according to those who knew him, indeed in the days leading up to the murder, Jav had been posting music lyrics on social media.

“Some of those lyrics however described a falling out between himself and Phoenix Lee.

“The lyrics referred to drug dealing and the use of knives to cause serious harm and death.

“Phoenix Lee was specifically named in the lyrics to the rap ‘Everyone Thinks They’re On Swizz’.

“That was the street name of Jav. The lyrics also refer to ‘chasing Repo’, that being the street name of Lee and ‘splashing him’ which was a reference to stabbing him.”

Read more: Murder accused tells jury he fell out with dealer over drug-infused sweets

Judge Morgan said he is “certain” the lyrics came to the attention of Lee in the days leading up to the murder, who reacted by recruiting McKay and arming himself with a hunting knife.

He said the fact Lee had conducted an internet search for the very knife he used to kill Alinjavwa was proof he had planned the attack.

He added he is “satisfied” McKay knew he was being recruited for “a violent enterprise”.

He said: “The CCTV material makes plain Sheldon McKay, a person unknown to Jav and Suwi, was tasked with knocking on the front door to establish the presence of Jav.

“Once that presence was established by Jav looking through the upstairs front window, it was Mr Lee who then kicked the door open.

“McKay followed within seconds and again I’m satisfied from viewing CCTV material that moments before entry he removed an article from his waistband, and I’m satisfied that was a knife."

Braintree and Witham Times: Murder - the scene in Affleck Road, Greenstead, as police probed the murder in December last yearMurder - the scene in Affleck Road, Greenstead, as police probed the murder in December last year

Judge Morgan added: “In less than two minutes the two of you had entered the house and inflicted multiple slash and stab injuries, including the two deep penetrating stab wounds to Jav’s chest and one through his armpit and through his chest.

“I recognise at the time he had a homemade shank in his hand. However in the circumstances of two men forcing their way into his house, his possession can only have been to fight off the intruders not as a weapon of aggression.

“The wounds he inflicted on each of you were inflicted in a desperate attempt to fight off the attack, the knife blade broke in his desperate attempt to survive those blows from the knife or knives you were carrying.”

Judge Morgan said victim impact statements read to the court on behalf of Alinjavwa's family were drafted “with dignity”.

He said: “No sentence that I can pass today will bring back Jav Siwale, that is evident. 

“No sentence will repair the hurt and emotional damage that the two of you have done to Jav’s family. 

“They will live with their bereavement for the rest of their lives. They have spoken with dignity in describing the emotional trauma each suffers in trying to comprehend the loss of a loved son, brother and father, whatever the blemishes on his character.”