Friday, 31 December 2010

Peckham Gang Violence: Teen Shot Dead

Operation Trident officers – who investigate violent black-on-black crime in the capital – are appealing for witnesses after a 17 year-old teenager was shot dead on a notorious Peckham Estate.

Streatham youth Sylvester Akapalara (pictured) suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the neck and chest on a fourth-floor stairwell at Heron House, Pelican Estate on December 29 and two other youths were stabbed.

Police were originally called to nearby Gannet House, where a 17 year-old had been stabbed and later discovered an 18 year-old had taken himself to hospital with a stab wound.

Sylvester was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:15pm.

Officers are treating all three incidents as linked at this early stage.

An incident room has opened under Detective Chief Inspector Gordon Allison of Trident.

Anyone who can assist should call the incident room on 020 8247 4554.

If you wish to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Two teens aged 18 and 17 were arrested on suspicion of murder at a residential address in Peckham and remain in custody.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Boozy Driver Jailed For Death Crash

A drink-driver, who killed a father-of-two in the early hours of the morning as the victim crossed the road, has been locked-up for five years and four months.

Imran Ali, 27, of Highview Gardens, Edgware, North London had been boozing before jumping behind the wheel of his Toyota Avensis and colliding with Georgia-born Yuriy Amoev, 35.

He pleaded guilty at Wood Green Crown Court to causing death by dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol in Watford Way, Hendon on December 12, last year and was also disqualified for six years.

At 3:00am Ali ran over Mr. Amoev outside Hendon Central Underground Station (pictured) and then crashed into the central traffic barrier.

The victim was declared dead at the scene.

Ali was arrested after failing a roadside breath test.

“Let this be a stark warning to anyone who still thinks that it is acceptable to drink and drive,” said Detective Sergeant Geoff Harper of the Metropolitan Police’s Road Death Investigation Unit.

“This time last year a family were devastated by the loss of a father to two young children because Ali gratuitously chose to get in his car when he had been drinking.

“Our thoughts are with the family of Mr. Amoev.

“The Metropolitan Police Service will continue to carry out operations targeting those who drink and drive, particularly during the Christmas period, to make the roads safer for everyone who uses them.”

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Co-Worker Killed Over Parking Dispute

A factory worker, who armed himself with a knife and stabbed a colleague to death over an on-going parking dispute, has been jailed for life with a 20-year minimum recommendation.

Father-of-two Gurmukh Singh Chahal, 42, ( of Langley, Slough, Berkshire died from a stab wound to the chest at Mac-RK Engineering, Bridge Road Industrial Estate, Bridge Road, Southall, Middlesex on April 9.

Balraj Singh, 44, (pic.bottom) of Weavers Rise, Ketley Bank, Telford, Shropshire was caught on CCTV stabbing the victim with a kitchen knife and was convicted of murder by an Old Bailey jury.

Singh, who slept overnight in the factory and parked his car in the unit, was previously angered by Chahal rolling large bins near his vehicle, risking possible damage.

The defendant was observing Chahal working on the factory floor from his living area above when he suddenly stormed down with the knife and without warning plunged it into the victim.

An ambulance and police were called at 11:40pm and emergency heart surgery was performed, but despite efforts to save Chahal he died at the scene.

Detective Inspector Steve Smith of the Metropolitan Police’s Homicide and Serious Crime Command said: “The evidence against Balraj Singh was overwhelming.

“The Metropolitan Police service is committed and determined to ensure that people like Singh are held to account for their actions. 

“Gurmukh Chahal leaves behind a young widow, a five-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son.

“I only hope that today’s verdict and sentence brings some comfort to the family and friends of Gurmukh Chahal.”

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Salsa Club Murder: Two Charged

Two men accused of murdering an Ecuadorian salsa club customer, who suffered fatal head injuries when attacked after being thrown out of the London Bridge venue, have been remanded to return to the Old Bailey on March 16.

Erik Patricio Rosero Yepez, 22, (pictured) was ejected from the La Pollero Collera club and attacked minutes later in Southwark Street on December 5, dying the following day.

Detective Chief Inspector Dave Manning of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said: “It would appear that the victim and his friends were involved in some sort of disagreement with another group of people inside the club.

“A fracas broke out and the victim, with one of his friends, was ejected from the club by security.

“Shortly after he was attacked by a group of people on Southwark Street.

“I am appealing to anyone who witnessed the altercation inside the club, or witnessed any part of the assault on Southwark Street, to contact the police.

“I would like to assure any witnesses that they will be treated with the utmost sensitivity.”

Galo Vargas Bemudez, 22, of Walpole Road, Tottenham, North London and Angel Campoverde, 22, of Bruce House, Headlam Road, Clapham, South-West London are both charged with murder.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Mum-Of-Three Murdered: Algerian Charged

A man has appeared in court charged with the murder of a North London mother-of-three, who was strangled and struck with a blunt object in her home.

Jacqueline Barrett, 34, (pictured) of Anderson Court, Whitefield Avenue, Cricklewood was dead at the scene when police arrived at 4:45am on Saturday December 11.

A post-mortem examination the next day at Finchley mortuary confirmed the cause of death as asphyxia and haemorrhaging and compression of the neck and blunt force trauma.

Algerian-born Houssam Djemaa, 23, of Anderson Court, Whitefield Avenue is charged with murdering Jacqueline at the same address and was remanded in custody at the Old Bailey until March 16 for a plea and case management hearing.

Detective Chief Inspector Jacqueline Sebire of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said: “Jacqueline Barrett was a mother-of-three who grew up in the Camden area and had made her home in Cricklewood.

“We are very keen to speak to anyone who knew Jacqueline and can assist in building up a picture of her life to assist our investigation.”

The Barrett family said: “Jacqueline was a loving daughter and a devoted mother for her three children. She will be sadly missed by all her family and friends.”

Anyone with information that could assist police are asked to call the incident room on 020 8358 0200.

If you wish to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Bus Driver Rapist: Women Beware

A bus driver, who raped a boozy 24 year-old woman after she boarded his double-decker late at night, faces years behind bars.

Kalash Vijay, 42, (pictured) of Evergreen Way, Hayes, West London was driving an N207 night-bus when the lone victim boarded at 2:44am on February 7.

She had been out with friends in Acton and after boarding fell asleep on the top deck.

Internal CCTV images show Vijay went upstairs half an hour later and brought the victim down to the lower deck.

He then turned off the lights and showed the bus as out of service.

Vijay stopped the bus in Dawly Street, Hayes - dropped the victim off - and parked his vehicle at Hayes bus station.

He returned in his car to Dawly Street, picked the woman up, then drove home, where he raped her twice.

Vijay drove her to the bus station in the morning and the next day she reported the attack to police.

An Isleworth Crown Court jury convicted the defendant on two counts of rape and he will be sentenced on January 25.

Detective Constable Anna Hukowski, of the Metropolitan Police’s Sapphire Team said: “Vijay told the court a string of lines, claiming the victim was his girlfriend.

“I am grateful the jury saw through those lies.

“Vijay took advantage of a young woman in a vulnerable condition.

“She has shown incredible strength of character in reporting this incident and we have used our expertise to ensure that Vijay was identified and brought to justice.”

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Happy Christmas To All Our Readers

Thank-you for visiting Square Mile News on this festive day and may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a prosperous new year.

I have thoroughly enjoyed writing reports for this blog over the last year and I hope 2011 continues with as much pleasure.

More and more users are visiting the site all the time and I can honestly say it would be pointless to proceed without your involvement.

Have a wonderful day.

Square Mile News will continue with it's daily reports tomorrow.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Serial Flasher: Police Release E-Fit

Police have released this E-Fit of a nuisance flasher who has exposed himself to schoolgirls at least nine times this year.

The unknown man has targeted young teenagers, mostly at bus stops, all over the Borough of Richmond in South-West London.

The last three offences took place around Broad Lane and Uxbridge Road, Hampton, between 3:00pm and 5:30pm.

The suspect is described as white with a tanned complexion, approximately 40 years-old, 5 feet 8 inches tall, large build with a big stomach, short dark hair, brown eyes and deep voice.

He frequently has stubble on his face and habitually wears a black baseball cap and a black jacket.

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Ward of the Metropolitan Police Service, Richmond Upon Thames, said: “Police are extremely concerned about these incidents and are very keen to trace this individual.

“If you see anything suspicious please contact police immediately giving full details of the suspect concerned and the location.”

If you have any information relating to this investigation please contact Richmond CID on 020 8247 7218.

If you wish to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Car Thief Boyfriend Avoids Christmas Behind Bars

A jilted boyfriend who took his ex’s £16,000 car after they split – lumbering her with the repayments along with a tissue of lies – has dodged prison with a suspended sentence.

Incapacity benefit claimant Paul Geoffrey Hatton, 41, of Waterdale Crescent, St. Helens, Merseyside only admitted the crime when the victim showed up to give evidence at the trial.

He pleaded guilty to stealing a Peugeot 207 GT from Julie Tegg-Vardy in Nottingham on July 28, 2007.

Prosecutor Miss Rekha Kodikara told Inner London Crown Court the couple had lived together for six months until the bust-up on the day of the theft.

“They had an argument and the defendant was told to leave by the complainant, who gave him permission to drive the car to Merseyside where his mother lives.

“She only lent him the car so he could get to Merseyside, but it was the last time she saw that car.”

Hatton failed to answer phone calls for over a month and eventually, acting on police advice, Miss Tegg-Vardy wrote to him demanding the return of the vehicle, vital for her school run.

The defendant did telephone his ex, claiming he suffered a head injury in a violent street attack.

“This was the start of a litany of lies he told,” explained miss Kodikara.

Hatton claimed he would pay off the £12,000-plus car loan after collecting money in London.

The victim then received a text from the defendant who insisted the vehicle was stolen while he was in a Southwark bank and found smashed glass in the gutter.

The theft was reported to police and on March 18, this year Merseyside officers spotted it parked in Hatton’s uncle’s driveway.

The uncle was arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods, but not charged and Hatton later handed himself into police and was quizzed by officers in Peckham, South London.

He told them he paid £10,000 for the car, but had no proof of purchase.

Meanwhile Miss Tegg-Vardy had paid an additional £4,536 for a car she did not have.

It was eventually re-sold for £6,400 after another 10,000 miles were put on the clock.

Hatton was sentenced to twelve months imprisonment, suspended for two years, ordered to perform 300 hours community service work and pay £7,400 compensation to Miss Tegg-Vardy.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Hunt For Heartless Mugger: CCTV Released

This is the ruthless robber police are hunting for targeting a lady pensioner who had just withdrawn hundreds of pounds in cash from her bank.

The suspect followed the woman – aged in her sixties – out of Barclays Bank, Stanmore Broadway, Stanmore, North London on August 26 and pounced nearby.

He had observed her withdrawing £700 cash inside the branch and trailed her to her car parked nearby.

As she sat in the car the suspect falsely claimed she had a flat tyre before opening the door, grabbing her handbag and fleeing with it after a short struggle.

The suspect was chased down a road at the side of Sainsbury's, but managed to get away.

He is described as being of Asian or Middle Eastern appearance, approximately 5' 10" tall, wearing a brown leather jacket and black shoes and spoke with a London accent.

Harrow Police released the CCTV image.

If you have any information regarding this man or know of his whereabouts please call PC Jamie Kay of Harrow Robbery Team on 020 8733 5407.

Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Male-On-Male Rape: CCTV Released

This is the violent rapist police are hunting after a 60 year-old victim was attacked in his own home.

The victim was befriended by the suspect at a soup kitchen in Howick Place, Victoria, near Westminster Cathedral on August 15, last year.

The pair travelled to the victim’s flat, where he was violently raped and had three of his teeth knocked out by the suspect who also stole food and the man’s mobile phone.

The assailant is described as of Mediterranean appearance, approximately twenty-five years-old, 5’8” tall, of slim build, with cropped dark hair and stubble and wearing a jacket, dark trousers and white trainers. 

He spoke with a European accent, possibly Polish. 

Detective Constable Angelina Pitorri, leading the investigation on behalf of the Westminster Sapphire unit, said: “We believe that this man may call himself Marco or Marcello and are appealing for anyone who may recognise him to contact us on 020 7321 9434.

“If you wish to remain anonymous, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Monday, 20 December 2010

Syndrome Sparks Theft Addiction

An Asperger’s Syndrome sufferer, obsessed with stealing strangers’ personal effects, has been warned he faces more time in prison for his countrywide crime spree.

Van Elvin Courchene, 31, (pictured) of North Road, Stoke-on-Trent enters colleges, and hostels in his hunt for simple items, which he feels gives him his only connection with other people.

He pleaded guilty at London’s Blackfriars Crown Court to possessing two false identity documents, namely two U.K. driver’s licences, at St. Christopher’s Village hostel, Borough High Street, Southwark on May 9.

Prosecutor Miss Abigail White told the court staff became suspicious after catching Courchene searching through the hostel’s luggage room.

He insisted he was simply looking for his own bag and when it was checked by staff they found the two licences and called the police.

Officers at Peckham Police Station quizzed Courchene.

“He said he had a habit of collecting things,” added Miss White.

Courchene is currently under the supervision of North Staffordshire Probation Service after being sentenced to supervision orders for similar crimes.

He received a three-year order at Oxford Crown Court for burgling student accommodation at a local college, helping himself to identity cards, concert tickets and foreign currency.

More recently he received a one-year order after being caught rifling through the luggage room at Baden-Powell House hostel, Kensington, West London.

Courchene is currently serving a three-month prison sentence for theft imposed at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court.

“He has a sense of resentment. He is intelligent, but stymied and throughout his education was bullied and shunned and cannot bear that,” said Courchene’s lawyer Mr. Nicholas Cooper.

“It seems people believe he is stupid, but he is not stupid and feels bitterly disappointed,” added the lawyer. “He has a feeling of huge annoyance at suffering such inequality.

“He struggles to understand very basic principles and his conduct puts him on the outside and somehow contact with others can only be achieved this way.

“Behind all this is a bright young man who plainly has potential,” explained Mr. Cooper. “He is thinking about this all the time and is trying to control his impulses.”

Judge John Hillen announced: “There are those with the same syndrome who do not commit crime.

“It passes the custody threshold and he is in breach of two community orders. I could impose a lengthy further period of imprisonment.”

Courchene was remanded in custody until January 21 for probation reports.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Builder Crushed To Death In Basement: Boss In Dock

An employer, whose building worker died during a basement excavation at an exclusive Knightsbridge property, faces a date at the Old Bailey after admitting safety breaches.

Nadeem Aftab, 46, of Nuffield Road, Edmonton, Oxford, admitted a summons at City of London Magistrates’ Court brought by the Health and Safety Executive.

Brazilian-born father-of-nine Arlindo Visentin, 58, died on June 13, 2007 after part of a basement wall collapsed on top of him at 27 Wilton Row.

Aftab admitted failing to ensure the health, safety and work of all his employees by failing to provide and maintain a safe system of work during underpinning of the property.

Following a three-day inquest at Westminster Coroner’s Court between March 18 and 20 a verdict of accidental death was recorded.

Magistrates committed Aftab on bail to the Central Criminal Court for sentencing on a date to be fixed.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Firm Fined For Airplane Worker's Painfull Fall

A Gloucester airplane maintenance company have been fined £7,200 after a mechanic plunged six feet onto his face – suffering serious injuries - while working on a Virgin jet at Heathrow Airport.

Messier Services Ltd. of Meteor Business Park, Cheltenham Road East, Gloucester admitted a summons, brought by the Health and Safety Executive, (HSE) at City of London Magistrates’ Court.

The employee was replacing the nose landing gear on an A340 aircraft at the Virgin Atlantic Airways Hanger, Exeter Way on September 1, 2008 when he fell from a pallet resting on a forklift.

The court heard Gloucester man John Nicholas, 59, and a colleague were using a fork lift truck in an attempt to align the barrel of the main landing gear fitting with the socket on the underside of the aircraft.

During the procedure Mr. Nicholas realised the alignment was not correct and in an attempt to correct it kneeled down on an unsecured pallet designed to support the landing gear, two metres above the floor.

However, the forklift truck supporting the pallet reversed suddenly causing the pallet to drop to the floor.

Mr. Nicholas fell with the pallet, fracturing his kneecap and suffering significant injuries to the left side of his face.

Since the incident he has needed a number of operations to his mouth and teeth.

The HSE investigation found the work was not properly planned and the pallet being used did not have a proper adjustment to help align the landing gear and the socket on the underside of the aircraft.

Messier Services Ltd. admitted failing to ensure the safety at work of all its employees, including Mr. Nicholas.

The company was also ordered to pay £11,820 costs.

Following sentencing HSE inspector Steve Kirton said: “This company did not properly plan this work even though it was a core part of its operations.

“Mr. Nicholas has suffered severe injuries to his face and knees purely due to a lack of planning.

“Messier should have either found a way working at ground level or provided a safe way of working at height with access to the right equipment.

“Employers need to plan work and assess the risk to people not only in their own premises, but also when the work takes place in another company’s property.”

Friday, 17 December 2010

Fake-Medicines Five: Not Rookies

The five businessmen, accused of Europe’s largest-ever fake pharmaceutical plot, which involved importing bogus Chinese-manufactured life-saving drugs, are all vastly experienced in the industry and knew what they were doing, a jury were told.

Charges were brought following a two-year investigation by the Medicines and Health Care products Regulatory Agency, part of the Department of Health into Consolidated Medical Supplies Ltd. (CMS).

The company, of Unit 14, Sherrington Way, Lister Road, Industrial Estate, Basingstoke, had its Wholesale Dealers Licence revoked by the MHRA on January 8, 2008.

The charges relate to 'Casodex', used to treat advanced prostate cancer, 'Plavix', a drug prescribed to prevent blood clots and prevent heart attacks for angina patients and 'Zyprexa' a anti-psychotic drug prescribed to schizophrenic and bipolar patients.

The five defendants are: Ian Gillespie, 58, of The Green, Marsh Baldon, Oxford; Peter Gillespie, 64, of High Street, Bovingdon, Hemel Hempstead; Ian Harding, 58, of Lower Westwood, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire; James Quinn, 69, of Holloway Drive, Virginia Water, Surrey and Richard Kemp, 61, of School Lane, Y Waen, Flint Mountain, Clwyd.

Croydon Crown Court was told Kemp ran a pharmaceutical company called ‘Kemco’ from his Flintshire home and an Irish company ‘Kemco Pharmaceutical Ltd.’ of 29a Dartry Road, Rathgar, Dublin.

Both companies held wholesale dealers’ licences to supply therapeutic drugs.

“Richard Kemp knew these products were coming from Singapore at the very least,” prosecutor Mr. Andrew Marshall told the jury.

“He obtains the medicines and sends them to the Irish outfit,” added Mr. Marshall.

The Irish company provided “storage and logistics” and it’s bookkeeper confirmed Kemp was the only employee.

“Richard Kemp is very experienced in the pharmaceutical trade,” said Mr. Marshall. “We are not dealing with novices here.”

Quinn is linked to the plot through his ownership of Camberley-based World Medical Ltd., of Unit 6, Stanhope Road, Camberley Business Centre, the court was told.

The company was also the holder of a wholesale dealers’ licence and together with Peter Gillespie, Quinn established an Internet pharmacy and was taking steps to set up a Liberia-based firm with a Swiss bank account.

Peter Gillespie, his brother Ian and Harding worked together to open CMS, which rose from the ashes of ‘Discpharm’ – wound-up in 2005.

“Peter Gillespie has many years experience in the pharmaceutical industry,” Mr. Marshall told the jury. “He is a clever man who has sought to operate in the outer reaches of the industry.

“He wants to make a profit to live a comfortable life of some luxury and seems to allow very little to get in his way to get what he wants.

“He is well versed in every devise to protect his position.”

‘Discpharm’ – run by Peter Gillespie - was an approved parallel importer of drugs from abroad and Ian Gillespie handled the sale ledger side and controlled the stock.

Harding was also a senior manager within the company until the Royal Bank of Scotland placed it into administration with “large debts” and Peter Gillespie made bankrupt.

However, Peter Gillespie continued to live a lavish lifestyle, driving Bentley’s, Ferrari’s and top-of-the-range Mercedes owned by a Luxembourg-based company.

“It was his secret off-shore confidential company,” explained Mr. Marshall, who told the jury Peter Gillespie hid assets in the company to dodge creditors.

Less than a month after Discpharm’s demise CMS was formed on June 13, 2005.

“Peter Gillespie was behind it, but it was not in his name,” said Mr. Marshall. “CMS were able to buy back the machinery owned by Discpharm.”

This machinery allowed the plotters to re-label the bogus medicines for the U.K. market, the jury were told.

Ian Gillespie guaranteed two loans, which bought nearly £50,000 worth of equipment and Harding was a director of CMS.

“It was Peter Gillespie who organised CMS through a number of people so there would be no record of his involvement,” explained the prosecutor.

All five have pleaded not guilty that between January 1, 2006 and June 30, 2007, they conspired together and with others to defraud pharmaceutical wholesalers, pharmacists, the public and holders of Intellectual Property Rights in pharmaceuticals by dishonestly distributing for gain counterfeit medicines.

They also deny two counts each of selling or supplying the three drugs without authorisation and selling or supplying counterfeit goods, namely the three medicines, between January 1, 2006 and June 30, 2007.

Peter Gillespie alone denies one count of breaching a company director disqualification order between July, 2005 and June, 2007, following his bankruptcy.