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Two convicted of Bermondsey murder

News   •   Sep 23, 2019 16:36 BST

[Guilty: Denilson Davis]

A man and a boy have been found guilty of murdering 23-year-old Joshua Boadu in a knife attack in Bermondsey.

Denilson Davis, 21 (10.07.98), of Hemel Hempstead, and a 16-year-old boy from the Southwark area were convicted at the Old Bailey on Monday, 23 September of killing Joshua – also known as SJ by his friends - who suffered multiple injuries and died from a stab wound to the chest in June 2018.

Detective Inspector Ian Titterrell, Specialist Crime, said: “SJ was attacked in broad daylight on a Bermondsey estate, succumbing to his injuries several days later. We have never been able to establish a motive for this senseless killing.

“A thorough police investigation by my team, not to mention some great work from borough officers who proactively stopped two cars which yielded vital evidence, has led to today’s convictions. While of course SJ’s family remain devastated, I hope today’s result brings them some comfort.”

SJ, from Bermondsey, was attacked at 18:15hrs on 11 June 2018 in Linsey Street. He managed to escape and sought refuge at an address in Lucey Way where police and the London Ambulance Service were called.

He was taken to hospital in a critical condition with injuries to his chest, neck and arm. On the way he suffered a cardiac arrest; his life-support was switched off ten days later.

The court heard Davis drove to the scene in a hired Peugeot with the 16-year-old as his passenger. Another man was also in the car and enquiries continue to trace him.

SJ was seen on CCTV cameras cycling across Linsey Street at 18:11hrs. Two minutes later he was spotted walking back across the road, disappearing from view at 18:14hrs. He was next seen on camera at 18:17hrs – by then he had been stabbed and was running towards Lucey Way. At the same time the Peugeot could be seen driving out of Linsey Street and away from the scene.

Two witnesses saw what happened to SJ and described how he was pushed up against a parked car and surrounded by three males. One was wearing distinctive blue tracksuit, matching what Davis had on at the time.

All three males attacked SJ, who held up his arms to try to protect himself. One then produced a knife and stabbed him.

SJ managed to duck under the arm of one of his attackers and make his escape.

The police investigation discovered both Davis and the youth tried to call SJ after the attack. Evidence later recovered included mobile phone footage of the youth and the third man involved in a recording studio in the Lewisham area around 23:30hrs the night of the attack, in “celebratory mood”.

On 16 June officers on duty in Eastern Road, SE4 spotted the Peugeot. It parked nearby and the driver got out and ran away. A short time later a Ford Focus was seen driving up and down the road where the Peugeot had been abandoned. It was stopped and Davis was found to be the rear seat passenger. He and the driver were searched but nothing untoward was found.

However, the Peugeot was seized and examined. Fingerprints belonging to Davis were found inside as well as DNA from the youth. A bloodstain on the rear passenger seat matched SJ’s DNA.

A large hunting knife was recovered from the driver’s door pocket along with a Nokia mobile. Davis admitted in court that both items belonged to him.

Davis was arrested on 27 September 2018 and the youth on 13 February 2019. Both were subsequently charged.

They will be sentenced at the same court on Monday, 30 September 2019.

In extracts from an impact statement read in court, SJ’s family said: “Words cannot begin to describe how life has been since Josh’s passing and he will be forever in our hearts. Words cannot describe the heartache and emotional anguish this senseless killing has caused and the impact on the family has been astronomical.

“Josh had his whole life ahead of him and he was full of so much untapped potential but his life was cut short due to a vicious and senseless murder. Things will never be the same for us and we have to live with this for the rest of our lives.

“Knowing Josh cannot celebrate another birthday or Christmas brings all the emotion back to us. Things that “could have been” are amongst the hardest of things to forget and move forward when you lose a child, brother, uncle and friend like Josh.”