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Neasden Lane stab death: Neighbour pays tribute to woman, 28, killed in flat during night of bloodshed across Brent

PUBLISHED: 18:30 01 June 2018 | UPDATED: 18:30 01 June 2018

A body is removed from the house in Willesden Lane where a young woman died this morning. Picture: Lucas Cumiskey

A body is removed from the house in Willesden Lane where a young woman died this morning. Picture: Lucas Cumiskey

Archant

A dismayed neighbour today described a young woman believed to be the victim of a fatal stabbing in Neasden Lane as “a nice girl”.

Police at the scene of the woman's death in Neasden Lane. Picture: Lucas CumiskeyPolice at the scene of the woman's death in Neasden Lane. Picture: Lucas Cumiskey

John Sammon, 65, who has lived in the street for 15 years, told the Times of his shock that the woman, 28, had been stabbed to death in a flat just across the road.

Police were called to the scene at 2:30am today. Medics battled to save her but the woman was pronounced dead 15 minutes later from multiple stab wounds.

The woman hasn’t yet been formally identified as police need to contact her next of kin.

But neighbours have named her locally as the eastern European national John was friends with.

“I’ve tried to call her a lot of times today because she has my laptop,” he said. “I gave it to her yesterday.”

Police at the scene of the woman's death in Neasden Lane. Picture: Lucas CumiskeyPolice at the scene of the woman's death in Neasden Lane. Picture: Lucas Cumiskey

He said she called in regularly to borrow household items.

“She sat in the garden with me last night from about 10 past six to half six.

“Then the last time she spoke to me was at eight o’clock. I said to her, ‘can you bring my laptop back?’ and she said, ‘I’ll be back very shortly’.

“Those were the last words she spoke to me and then she never answered her phone.”

At about 3.30pm a covered body was stretchered out of the house and loaded into an ambulance.

Police at the scene of the woman's death in Neasden Lane. Picture: Lucas CumiskeyPolice at the scene of the woman's death in Neasden Lane. Picture: Lucas Cumiskey

“It’s troubling because it’s usually a quiet place,” said John.

He said the woman had meant to be meeting her brother yesterday,

“She just said: ‘I better go back to Romania and I’m meeting my brother at some airport.’

“He was flying in and they were arranging a time. That’s why I gave her my laptop to speak to him because she said she had internet over there.

“I know I’ve got an Irish accent but she couldn’t understand anything I said.”

Police had cordoned off the front of the property and workers in scrubs were searchings bins, bushes and car boots.

Other neighbours said people were always moving in and out of the block of flats where the woman died. One man said police had been called to the same address a few months ago.

“It makes me feel unsafe,” a young woman told the Times. “I’ve lived here 19 years and I don’t want to be stabbed.”

But police have moved to reassure neighbours. The suspected murder came on a night that also saw a shooting that left a young man critically ill, and a second stabbing.

Supt Tim Alexander said: “Overnight we found ourselves in the unusual position of having to deal with three violent incidents in our borough of Brent.

“I understand the community’s concerns regarding last night’s events, but I would like to reassure the people who live and work in Brent that we remain a safe and vibrant borough that rarely sees incidents of such violence.

“One of the incidents was sadly the killing of a young woman in the prime of her life.

“However, I would like to confirm we have a man in his 40s in custody and that we are not seeking anyone else in connection with this incident. I can also confirm the victim and the suspect were known to each other and that the crime happened inside a private residential property.

“Earlier in the evening, the borough also had a shooting and a stabbing within two hours of each other. Whilst this is of concern, I’d like to reiterate that my officers are working around the clock to identify, locate and apprehend those responsible.

“The community can expect to see extra officers on the streets of Brent over the coming days and I would urge anyone who has any concerns to feel free to approach them. Anyone who would rather speak to an officer in private can do so by calling Brent police via 101 or contact your local neighbourhood policing team.”

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