A man has been found guilty of killing his cousin, 40 year-old Tesfa Campbell.
Jerome Bailey, 38, of Victor Road, Teddington was found guilty of murder following a trial at Croydon Crown Court lasting just over two weeks which concluded on 21 January. He will be sentenced at a later date at the same location.
The court heard how at 2.45pm on Wednesday, 3 July 2019 on Latchmere Road, Battersea; Bailey fatally stabbed Tesfa in the abdomen. Tesfa 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 all the way from Tedddington to Battersea having arranged to meet Tesfa. The reason for the meeting is unclear.
A murder investigation was launched and detectives quickly identified Bailey as the perpetrator thanks to CCTV recovered from the area.
CCTV captured the two men, Tesfa and Bailey, walking down Burns Road, toward Latchmere 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 7 July 2019 officers arrested Bailey at a property on Victor Road, Teddington.
When police searched the address, two yellow plastic drawstring bags of exactly the same kind as the one which had been taken from Tesfa were found in the back garden. Police also discovered the Oyster card that Bailey used to make his journey from Teddington to Battersea in the bottom of one of those yellow bags.
The court heard how the cousins had once been close, with Tesfa often being willing in the past to help Bailey out, for example by lending him money. However, this had recently begun to change with Tesfa telling other family members he “had reached the point where he was going to cut [Bailey] off.”
DCI 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.”