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£20k reward offered two years on from Wallington murder

News   •   Dec 04, 2018 06:15 GMT

[Carl O'Brien with granddaughter Lily]

The family of a man who died from injuries sustained in a vicious assault just before Christmas two years ago have made their own appeal for those responsible to come forward, as detectives renew a £20,000 reward for information.

Carl O'Brien, 55, was attacked in the early hours of 3 December 2016 in a communal stairwell of flats at Vanguard Way, Wallington, outside his home.

It is believe that between 04.00-07.00hrs, he answered the communal door to strangers after they buzzed all the bells to the block to gain entry, and was violently attacked after a brief exchange of words as he returned to his flat.

Later that day Carl was taken to a south London hospital as a result of having lost consciousness. It became apparent that Carl had sustained a serious head injury as a result of the earlier assault.

Sadly, Carl, a cab driver and avid Chelsea FC fan, died from his injuries on 23 December. A post-mortem examination gave cause of death as a blunt trauma injury to the head.

The investigation into Carl's death is still open and being led by detectives from the Met's Homicide and Major Crime Command. The case remains unsolved, with one person having been tried and found not guilty of murder in October 2017.

On Tuesday, 4 December, members of Carl's family gathered outside Sutton rail station to hand out a letter addressed to those behind the attack or anyone who knows who was responsible, as they seek justice and look to raise awareness in the local community - close to the second anniversary of the assault which resulted in his death. They will be handing out the leaflets at other locations during the week.

Investigators are appealing for any new information that may lead them to the person who carried out the attack and inflicted the fatal injuries, with a £20,000 serious crime reward offered for information that leads to the identification, arrest and prosecution of the person or persons responsible for Carl's death.

DI Jo Sidaway of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, leading the investigation, said: "The investigation into the circumstances around Carl's death continues, and we will do everything we can to deliver justice for his family and loved ones. He was a beloved family man with a young granddaughter he doted on, and he is sorely missed.

"On the night of the assault, we know that there had been a party on the Roundshaw estate where Carl lived earlier that evening. Although Carl did not attend that party, anyone who went to that party is a potential witness.

"While we have taken statements from a number of people as part of this enquiry, we believe that there are people who have not yet come forward and told police what they know. I would urge them to do so now, and I hope the substantial reward being offered will further encourage those people to do the right thing and call police.

"I am sure that there are people who know who did this to Carl, and that someone - most likely in the Sutton or wider South London and Surrey areas - has the information to help us solve this case."

Anyone with information about Carl's death can contact the Incident Room on 020 8721 4005, or via the police non-emergency number 101.

To give information anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Full text of the letter draft by Carl O’Brien's family:

To the attacker(s),

During the early hours of Saturday 3rd December 2016, you launched a cowardly, barbaric and senseless attack on Carl O’Brien - a loving dad, granddad and family man known to his friends and family as “Wurzel” - outside his home in Vanguard Way, Wallington, on the Roundshaw estate. 

He had only recently moved into the property. He opened the communal door to his block after hearing his bell being repeatedly buzzed, and after opening the door, was the victim of a violent assault. You punched and stamped on a defenceless man. 

You left him for dead. You ran away like the coward(s) that you are and didn’t call for help.

If your aim was to cause heartbreak, devastation, and misery to people who you do not know then you achieved this aim. You have robbed my dad of his life and caused him to have a painful death which he did not deserve. Before this happened my dad was happy, we all were. I was lucky to have him. I was proud that he was my dad and I still am. He was the best dad, gentle, kind, and a good role model. He was a friend to so many and a popular man who worked hard all his life to provide for his family. He still is loved and missed by so many.

You have robbed his innocent little granddaughter of her Granddad, leaving her only with photos and stories about their short time together.

If anyone has information about the violent and unprovoked attack I appeal to them to do the right thing and contact the Police or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. There is a £20,000 reward that is being offered by police for information.

We can’t bring my dad back because of your actions but we can continue to fight for justice, and we will.

Justice for Carl (Wurzel) O’Brien