Police still do not know why a 40-year-old man was murdered by his cousin, who walked away with his victim’s yellow plastic drawstring bag.
The pair were seen walking together past Latchmere Leisure Centre in Burns Road, along Latchmere Road, Battersea, on July 3.
On Tuesday, January 21. following a trial at Croydon Crown Court lasting more than two weeks, Jerome Bailey, 38, of Victor Road, Teddington was found guilty of murdering Tesfa Campbell.
Bailey had fatally stabbed Tesfa in the abdomen. He died later in hospital.
When the incident took place, Tesfa had been on his way either to or from the gym as he did most days. On that Wednesday, Bailey travelled from Tedddington to Battersea having arranged to meet Tesfa. The reason for the meeting is still unclear after the trial.
A murder investigation was launched and detectives identified Bailey as the perpetrator from CCTV footage recovered from the area.
The footage captured the two men walking down Burns Road, just two minutes before Tesfa was stabbed. Also in the footage, Tesfa is seen carrying a large, bright yellow, drawstring bag, which was no longer in his possession when he collapsed.
Bailey was later caught on CCTV walking away from the scene carrying Tesfa’s distinctive yellow bag.
Four days later on Sunday, July 7, 2019 officers arrested Bailey at home in Victor Road, Teddington.
When police searched the address, two yellow plastic drawstring bags of the same kind as the one which had been taken from Tesfa were found in the back garden. Police discovered the Oyster card that Bailey used to make his journey from Teddington to Battersea in the bottom of one of those bags.
The court heard how the cousins had once been close, with Tesfa often helping Bailey out, for example by lending him money. But then this changed, with Tesfa telling other family members he “had reached the point where he was going to cut [Bailey] off.”
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding who led the investigation said: “I am pleased with the unanimous guilty verdict reached in this case. Unfortunately, we are still no clearer to knowing why a meeting between the two cousins has ended with Tesfa losing his life at the hands of another family member.
“This is undoubtedly a tragic incident that will have a long lasting impact on Tesfa’s family and friends. The nature of this incident is deeply shocking and I hope that this verdict goes some way to help them begin to a close this sad chapter.
“I also want to pay tribute to the members of the public who came forward to assist with the investigation and those who stopped to help after the attack.”