Follow Metropolitan Police

Man jailed following fatal stabbing in Enfield

News   •   Jun 15, 2018 12:40 BST

[Victim: Vanessa James]

A man has been sentenced for the brutal murder of a young mother in Enfield. 

Tre Cameron, 22, (2.12.95) of Lower Clapton Road, Hackney, was found guilty on Wednesday, 13 June at Inner London Crown Court of the fatal stabbing of Vanessa James.

He was sentenced at the same court on Friday, 15 June to life in prison with a minimum term of 18 years.

The court heard how police were called to Vanessa's flat in Curlew House, Ponders End at around 06:40hrs on 20 July 2017.

At the scene, officers found 24-year-old Vanessa, who had been stabbed 26 times.

Despite the efforts of police officers and ambulance staff, Vanessa was pronounced dead at the scene. A subsequent post-mortem examination gave cause of death as stab wounds to the neck and abdomen.

Tre Cameron threatened officers at the scene, and a Taser had to be used in order to arrest him. He was taken to hospital for treatment for a self-inflicted injury to his hand.

Detectives from the Homicide and Major Crime Command investigated the killing.

It was established that Cameron has consumed quantities of alcohol, cocaine and cannabis - factors which formed the basis of his defence against a charge of murder.

He was charged with Vanessa's murder and appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court on 31 August 2017, the day after his release from hospital for treatment to the hand injury.

Detective Sergeant Perry Benton, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: "Vanessa had met Tre Cameron only two weeks prior to the incident and allowed him to stay at her flat, along with her two-year-old daughter. He abused her trust, consuming a quantity of drink and drugs before he began a frenzied attack upon her. He pleaded not guilty to murder on the basis that he was suffering with a personality disorder and it was the disorder, drink and drugs that had caused him to lose control with such horrific consequences. Such a brutal killing is inexcusable - and so is the reckless substance abuse that proved to be the catalyst for this tragedy.

"I am pleased that the jury have seen through his cowardly defence. The court heard evidence Tre Cameron was dealing drugs and he has shown no remorse throughout the trial. This incident was witnessed by Vanessa's cousin and the trial meant she was forced to relive those terrible events.

"The James family have had to endure the graphic details of what had happened to Vanessa, but I hope this verdict provides some measure of comfort. I want express my sincerest sympathy to Vanessa's family for their tragic loss."

In an impact statement read to the court, Jean Humphreys, Vanessa's mother, said: "Vanessa was my dear daughter and I cannot believe she has been taken away from me under such inhumane circumstances. I miss Vanessa so much. She was the youngest of all my children. I feel like my heart has been ripped out.

"Vanessa's daughter - my grand-daughter - recognises her mother in photographs and asks for her when she is upset. Sometimes she wakes up crying in the night saying that her mummy has gone."

Catherine James, Vanessa's sister, said: "On hearing news that Vanessa was killed it felt like I had lost a part of me. That fatal day was actually my birthday. I will never have another birthday in which I don't relive the events of that day.

"Without my sister there is only a void. We were meant to have trips out together with our children and sing our favourite songs at the tops of our voices. My youngest daughter will never know her auntie and my niece will never know her mother."

The family's statement also highlighted the loss to Vanessa's daughter, stating: "Vanessa's daughter, was two-and-a-half years old when the incident took place. She was at home with her mother at the time and may have witnessed a portion of the violence.

"She was woken in the early hours of the morning and had to flee the flat. What would have happened if her adult cousin had not been there? We can only imagine what the impact of that morning was on her and we have yet to see how this trauma will impact her future development.

"She has been robbed of her mother's love, guidance and care. She will never have her mother's guiding hand, her mother's warmth or her mother's reassurance. Her mother will be missing during the important milestones of her life.

"We pray having her mother wrenched from her in such a violent manner doesn't have far reaching consequences on her life and as a family we will do our upmost to raise, protect and guide her as our sweet Vanessa would have wanted."