Life in prison for murderer identified through designer coat
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A murder suspect identified through a designer coat worth more than £1,300 has been jailed for life.
Ikem Affia, 31, was one of four people involved in a plot to drug and rob 33-year-old Saul Murray in Luton last year after seeing images of him on Instagram wearing Rolex watches.
Mr Murray’s body was discovered with stab wounds at his flat in New Town Street in the early hours of 27 February 2022.
Affia was identified as the main suspect in Mr Murray’s death after detectives were able to piece together his movements using CCTV and vehicle telematics.
They found the Moncler coat he was wearing matched the coat seen on the CCTV footage from Mr Murray’s flat at the time of the offence.
Three other people, Cleon Brown, 29, Surpreet Dhillon, 36, and Temidayo Awe, 21, were also handed prison sentences today (Friday) after they were found guilty of manslaughter and conspiracy to commit robbery in connection with the incident.
Dhillon had initially contacted Mr Murray via Instagram, continuing the conversation on WhatsApp before agreeing to meet up the day before his death.
Dhillon and Awe were identified after they were captured on CCTV entering Mr Murray’s flat with him just before 11.40pm.
Fast track forensics linked a glass left at the scene to Dhillon, whilst phone data showed that Mr Murray had called her via WhatsApp before her arrival at his flat.
Awe was seen leaving the flat shortly before 2.30am, whilst Dhillon propped the communal door open with a broom, so Awe was able to later return with the two men.
The two women left together around 20 minutes later, with the two men not far behind. CCTV showed that one of the men, now known to be Affia, was carrying a large knife as he left the building.
Mr Murray was then seen running towards the door before he lost consciousness and collapsed.
A post-mortem examination revealed that Mr Murray had died from blood loss caused by a knife wound.
Detectives carried out further phone work which placed Brown at the location at the time of the incident, with him having made contact with Dhillon around the same time.
Additional footage confirmed that a Mercedes Benz, which was seen acting suspiciously in the vicinity of Mr Murray’s flat, had been hired by Brown.
Brown is also seen on CCTV using a vacuum cleaner to clean the Mercedes at a petrol station in London after the offence had taken place. He is wearing the same jogging bottoms as in the CCTV from Mr Murray’s flat.
Further CCTV from a fast-food restaurant in London showed Brown and Affia together, with Affia wearing the same coat that was seen on the CCTV footage at Mr Murray’s flat.
Vehicle telematics placed the Mercedes at Affia’s home address before and after Mr Murray’s death.
Information from the coat manufacturer revealed that at the time less than 300 of these coats were available in the UK, with just 69 being sold online. One had been sold to Affia’s partner and delivered to his home address the previous year.
His Honour Judge Simon KC told today's sentencing hearing at Luton Crown Court that it was a senseless conspiracy to rob.
All four were today (Friday) sentenced to the following, having previously been found guilty at trial.
Ikem Affia, 31, of Shore Place, London was sentenced to life in prison for murder and will have to serve a minimum of 25 years. He was also sentenced to 14 years for conspiracy to commit robbery to run concurrently.
Cleon Brown, 29, of King Edwards Road, South Hackney was sentenced to 11 years for manslaughter and nine years for conspiracy to commit robbery to run concurrently; a total of 11 years.
Surpreet Dhillon, 36, of Carnarvon Road, London was sentenced to 10 years for manslaughter and 10 years for conspiracy to commit robbery to run concurrently; a total of 10 years.
Temidayo Awe, 21, of Saunders Street, Gillingham was sentenced to seven years for manslaughter and six years for conspiracy to commit robbery to run concurrently; a total of seven years.
Detective Inspector Dale Mepstead, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: “This was clearly a planned attack; facilitated by Dhillon and Awe and carried out by Affia and Brown.
“It’s obvious from the way the two women used a sedative substance on Mr Murray and the fact Affia was armed with a knife that they were prepared to get what they wanted at any cost – which sadly was Mr Murray’s life.
“This was a very lengthy and complex investigation, which involved scrutinising hours of CCTV, phone data, vehicle telematics and other evidence to place each of them at Mr Murray’s flat at the time of the offence.
“I hope that the knowledge that all four people involved in this horrific incident will be locked up for a very long time can bring some justice to Saul’s loved ones.”
This case is set to be featured in 24 Hours in Police Custody later this month.