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Man who stole delivery driver’s van convicted of murder

Christopher El Gifari

Christopher El Gifari, 32, admitted the manslaughter of Mark Lang and the theft of his delivery van, but was today found guilty of murder and robbery at Cardiff Crown Court.

At 12.49pm on March 28, emergency services were called to a report of a single-vehicle collision on North Road in Cathays, Cardiff.

Following enquiries, it transpired that the vehicle involved was a delivery van which has been stolen from Laytonia Avenue by Christoper El Gifari.

Delivery driver Mark Lang, who had been delivering parcels, stood in front of his van in an attempt to stop El Gifari but he was driven over and dragged at least 743 metres.

Speed cameras on North Road recorded the van travelling at 47mph.

The van came to a stop at the junction with New Zealand Road and El Gifari ran from the scene.

Members of public tried their best to help and comfort Mark, 54, who was critically injured.

Despite the best efforts of medical professionals, Mark never regained consciousness and 18 days later died from his injuries.

El Gifari will be sentenced next Friday (December 1).

Mark Lang

Following the trial, Mr Lang’s devastated family said:

“The family welcome the Court’s decision today convicting Christopher El Gifari of Mark’s murder.

“We would like to thank the jury, the police and the CPS for their hard work and support over the last few months and weeks.

“We would also like to extend thanks to those who helped Mark, from the people who called 999 and held his hand, to the paramedics who assisted him at the scene and transferred him to Heath Hospital, where he received tender and unwavering care from everyone on the critical care team.

“The last few months have been traumatic for us as a family after Mark’s brutal, and ultimately pointless killing.

“We now have to struggle to face life without him. His partner now faces life alone, his daughters won’t have their dad to walk them down the aisle, his grandchildren will never know their grandad. We will have to live through the memories we know he would have treasured if he were there with us.”

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Rebecca Merchant, from South Wales Police, said:

“Mark Lang was a much-loved partner, father, son, brother, uncle, and friend, who sustained fatal injuries while simply doing his job in Cardiff as a delivery man.

“On the afternoon of 28th March 2023, Christopher El Gifari made a conscious decision to steal Mark’s van and then drive it at speed into Mark, causing injuries from which Mark would never recover and changing the life of Mark’s family for ever.

“I recognise that nothing can bring Mark back or put right the events of that day and whilst the outcome today can never compensate Mark’s family for their terrible loss, I do hope the conviction today at Cardiff Crown Court will bring a degree of comfort to all those who love him.

“I would like to pay tribute to the compassion shown by members of the public who tried their best to help and comfort Mark, and to the professionalism of police officers and emergency service colleagues who attended the scene.

“I am grateful to the Gabalfa community for their support during the investigation, in particular by providing CCTV which has been crucial in this case.

“Finally, I wish to thank the team of detectives and police staff who have worked tirelessly on this investigation together with the Crown Prosecution Service and Prosecution Counsel. The efforts of all involved have contributed to today’s outcome. Thank you.”