Antonio Rodney-Cole

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Antonio Rodney-Cole, 22, died after being repeatedly stabbed in Stoke Newington in 2013.

A drug dealer is thought to have been killed to steal a list of customers stored on his phone, an inquest has heard.

Antonio Rodney-Cole, 22, died after being repeatedly stabbed in Stoke Newington, north-west London, on 2 December, 2013.

A senior policeman told Poplar Coroner’s Court his death was linked to drug dealing.

A suspect has been identified but they have left the UK, the court heard.

Mr Rodney-Cole was seen in Oldfield Road area of Stoke Newington with two other men on the morning of his death.

‘Call me an ambulance’

Francis Alo, who lived nearby, said he saw the group standing near a car.

In a statement, he said the pair left the car “hastily” after Mr Rodney-Cole was heard to say: “Don’t go off like that.”

Mr Alo said the victim then called out to him, shouting “Big man, call me an ambulance”, before driving off.

When Mr Rodney-Cole returned minutes later, Mr Alo said, there was “a lot of blood on the floor of the car and a cut to his hand”.

“When I tried to help him I saw there was a knife on his lap,” he said.

“The whole incident lasted about 10 to 15 minutes from when I first saw the men.”

Giving evidence over video-link, Det Insp Harbir Kooner said a murder investigation continued.

He said evidence indicated the attackers “wanted to steal his mobile phone to sell drugs from, so in essence the contacts on that phone”.

The inquest heard that detectives have enough evidence to charge a suspect with robbery and murder.

Det Insp Kooner told the court, including Mr Rodney-Cole’s sister Bianca Nelson, who also appeared via video-link, that steps were still being taken to find the suspect.

Senior coroner Mary Hassell made a determination of unlawful killing.

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