Two men jailed for Ben Purdy murder

Two men have been sentenced to a combined minimum of 58 years imprisonment for the murder of 18-year-old Ben Purdy in Mossington Gardens a year ago this week.

Andrew Bayne, 37, from SE8 was found guilty of the murder of Ben Purdy at the Old Bailey on Thursday 19 November.

Ben Purdy
Ben Purdy

The next day, at the same court, he was sentenced to life imprisonment to serve a minimum of 30 years. He was also sentenced to seven years imprisonment for possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear or violence. The sentences are to run concurrently.

Michael Bagnall, 22, of SE13 was found guilty of the murder of Ben Purdy at the Old Bailey. He has now been sentenced to life imprisonment to serve a minimum of 28 years. He was also sentenced to two years imprisonment for affray. The sentences are to run concurrently.

Detective Chief Inspector Graeme Gwyn, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “I am very pleased with the sentences handed down today. Ben was hunted through the streets by Bayne and Bagnall, who were armed with deadly weapons and had deadly intentions.

“The trial has been a harrowing experience for Ben’s family and I commend them for their dignity and composure throughout. No degree of justice will bring Ben back to his family but I sincerely hope that the verdicts reached today will bring a measure of comfort to those who miss him most.”

Ben’s mother Joanne said in an impact statement presented to the court: “The trial has been long and stressful for my husband and I. The void that Ben’s death has left will never be filled. We will always have him missing in our lives. We will never be able to see him conquer his dreams or see him walk down the aisle or share any of the achievements that he would have worked towards. All we have are those brief 18 years to hold onto before he was taken away from us so cruelly.”

In an impact statement presented to the court Ben’s father, Stephen Lewis, said: “I have been unable to cope with the loss of my son. It’s such a tragedy for such a young life. Ben had been working hard to build a career as a plumber, his whole future was in front of him and I’m sure he would have had a great future. I have attended court every day during the trial and not once have any of the defendants shown me any remorse or dignity. They left Ben for dead in the street. Our son hasn’t got a life and our lives will never be the same again.”

Sentencing for three other men convicted of offences in connection with the murder will be scheduled in due course.

Laptop stolen from UK Homes for Heroes charity

Police are appealing for information after a laptop was stolen from a charity during a burglary. 

The burglary occurred at around 4.45am on Wednesday 18 November, at the premises of Homes 4 Heroes in the Surdoc Club, Cope Street, Rotherhithe.

The charity helps homeless ex military personnel.

A white Toshiba laptop Satellite C55 DA14 was stolen during the burglary and it contained templates used to make identity passes for the charity’s representatives.

The charity has now changed the passes for its staff and volunteers, but advises if anyone has any concerns about someone claiming to be from the charity they should contact UK Homes 4 Heroes on 020 7237 6363.

If anyone has any information regarding either the burglary, or the whereabouts of the laptop, they should call Southwark Police’s CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, quoting crime reference 3033697/15.

A 28-year-old man was arrested in connection with the burglary on Thursday 19 November. He has been charged with burglary and will appear at Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court on Friday 20 November.

Neil Coyle warns of police cuts and highlights drugs crisis in Rotherhithe

Neil Coyle MP has told Parliament that Southwark Police were  “unable or under-resourced” to tackle a problem with drug dealing and heroin use on an estate in Rotherhithe.

Speaking in a Commons debate on policing on Wednesday evening, he said that his constituents are “very concerned about the prospect of a 25 to 40 per cent further cut to resources”.

He went on to describe “the rise of the visible use and sale of class A drugs” in central London.

“In Rotherhithe in particular – at Tissington Court – residents felt that the police were either unable or under-resourced to be able to tackle regular heroin use and sale within a block,” said Mr Coyle.

“Families felt unable to send their children up and down the stairwell because of the use of heroin in that stairwell and the impact of use – including the avoiding of barrels on the stairs during the day.

“It took an incredible amount of time get that issue resolved, and a concerted effort on my part with the Rotherhithe councillors who took the issue to the police with the local tenants’ association.”

19-year-old missing from Surrey Quays – police appeal

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Police are appealing for help to find a man missing from his home near Surrey Quays Shopping Centre.

Charlie Murray, 19, was last seen at 8.15pm on Wednesday 14 October at his home on Hothfield Place off Lower Road.

Charlie is described as white, 5ft 10ins tall, of medium build with short dark brown hair. He has a tattoo on his right arm with the words ‘NEVER GIVE UP HOPE’.

When last seen, he was wearing a plain light blue tracksuit top and plain grey tracksuit trousers.

His family are growing increasingly concerned for his welfare as his disappearance is out of character.

Anyone who has seen Charlie is asked to contact Southwark Police by calling 101.

Firefighters to stage training exercises at Harmsworth Quays

Southwark’s borough fire commander Simon Tuhill has reassured local residents that they shouldn’t be alarmed if they see lots of fire engines at Harmsworth Quays this week.

Man found critically injured by Rotherhithe Tunnel

Police in Southwark are appealing for information and witnesses after a man was found with serious head injuries at the southern approach to the Rotherhithe Tunnel.

Officers were flagged down at 4.19am on Friday 26 June after a man was found collapsed.

They attended to the man who was unresponsive and suffering from a serious head injury.

London Ambulance Service arrived soon after and took the man, believed to be 19 years old, to a central London hospital. His condition is critical.

Officers believe they know the identity of the injured man and his next-of-kin have been informed.

No arrests have been made.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800-555-111.

Woman shot in leg in Rotherhithe New Road

Police are appealing for information after a fight between two men outside a barber’s shop in Rotherhithe New Road shortly before 3pm on Friday.

One of the men was armed with a broom and the other with a gun.

During the fight a member of the public – said not to be involved in the altercation – was shot in the leg.

The 38-year-old injured woman was taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service.

Her injuries are not life threatening.

Officers from the Met’s Trident gang command are investigating. No-one has been arrested.

Detectives are keen to hear from anyone who either witnessed this incident or has information concerning the identity of the two men involved, particularly the man armed with the gun.

Anyone with information should call Trident officers on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

St James’s Road collision: woman in critical condition

Police are appealing for information following a collision between a van and a mobility scooter.

Officers were called to a collision on St James’s Road at the junction with Jamaica Road  just after 12.30pm on Friday.

A 69-year-old woman, who was on the mobility scooter,  was taken to a south London hospital where she remains in a critical condition.

Anyone with information should call the serious collision investigation unit on 020 8285 1574.

The driver of the van stopped at the scene. No-one has been arrested in connection with the incident.

Woman hit over head with bronze statue in Valentine’s Day Bermondsey burglary

Police in Southwark are appealing for witnesses and information following a violent aggravated burglary in Bermondsey on St Valentine’s Day.

The incident happened at about 2.30pm on Saturday 14 February at an address in Cranswick Road, South Bermondsey.

The victim, a 63-year-old woman was home alone, speaking on the telephone to her sister, when there was a knock on the door.

She asked who it was and a man outside said he had crashed into her car. On hearing this news she opened her front door to inspect her car.

When she had opened the door,  the victim was confronted by two men.

The victim attempted to close her door but two men barged their way in to her house and closed the front door. Once inside they were shouting at the victim “Where is your safe?”

The victim – who lives on her own – informed the men that she did not own a safe. One of the suspects then picked up a bronze statue and hit the victim twice on the head.

They then attempted to drag her upstairs. She managed to escape their grip but was hit again with the statue.

The men then searched the house and stole two purses from her handbag before making off.

Police were called to the scene by the victim’s sister who heard the entire incident while on the telephone line. Neighbours who heard a disturbance also called 999.

On arrival,  police officers found the victim with a cut to her head, a cut to her left eye, and bruising to her left shin.

The London Ambulance Service was called and the victim was taken to a south London hospital, were she was treated and later discharged.

Suspect 1 is described as a black male, of slim build, aged 18 to 22 years, and was wearing a dark hooded top.

Suspect 2 is described as a black male, aged 18 to 22 years, and was wearing a dark hooded top.

Detectives from Southwark CID are investigating the incident and are appealing for anyone who may have seen anything or anyone acting suspiciously in the area to contact them.

Detective Constable Carri Blackman, from Southwark CID, said: “The victim in this case is an extremely vulnerable lady. This has understandably left her extremely shaken up and we’re determined to try and identify who is responsible.

“I’d urge anyone who might have seen or heard anything unusual or suspicious in the area to get in touch with us, however insignificant you think the information may be – it could help us to solve this case.”

Anyone with information should contact Southwark CID on 020 7232 6142, the police non-emergency 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting reference 3004593/15.

Police raid Bermondsey flat in clampdown on copyright theft

Detectives investigating a website from which thousands of people were able to download blockbuster films and top-rated TV shows for free arrested three men at a flat in Bermondsey on Tuesday morning.

At approximately 6.45am, detectives arrested three men aged 26, 25 and 24 – on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud; copyright theft and encouraging or assisting offences believing one or more will be committed – during a pre-planned operation.

The arrests were made by the London Regional Asset Recovery Team (LRART), who have been assisted in their investigation by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT).

They executed a search warrant at a residential address on Enid Street, Bermondsey, from which they recovered digital equipment and financial documents..

The three men have been taken into custody at a south London police station where they remain.

The website was originally registered to one of the suspects in the UK but was then re-registered to the second suspect at an address in Romania. It is believed that money made from advertising on the website continued to be paid into a London-based bank account.

Detective Sergeant Neil Reynolds, of LRART, said: “The site was extremely popular. It was viewed about 70,000 times a day and, internationally, it ranked thousands of places higher than a well-known and legitimate film download site.

“It can be difficult for people to care about copyright laws being broken but the money made from such sites is often spent on funding other crime. We are looking at how much money was made from advertising on this website and where that money went to.”

Kieron Sharp, Director General, FACT, said: “Websites which set out to direct users to illegal copies of films and TV shows are engaged in criminal activity which not only reaps huge financial benefits for the individuals involved but also undermines the fundamental business model which allows for future investment in the creative industries.

 

“As these latest arrests show, this type of criminal enterprise will not go without action, and those involved face severe penalties.”