December 6 2013 Latest news:
Lorraine King, News editor
Friday, May 17, 2013
Detectives appeal for information to catch the other men involved
Detectives have vowed to continue their hunt for the other people involved in the murder of a 25-year-old roofer in Dollis Hill following the conviction of three men for his killing.
Luke Fitzpatrick was stabbed to death and his 56-year-old father Bernard was knifed as he cradled his dying son in Alder Grove, Dollis Hill, on May 19 last year.
The popular Arsenal fan had been watching the Champions League final at the nearby Ox and Gate pub in nearby Coles Green Road when a hooded mob tried to storm the building.
Some of the drinkers gave chase and Luke was fatally wounded.
"Luke Fitzpatrick’s life was cut tragically short when a group of men took it upon themselves to storm the Ox and Gate pub.
I want to make it clear that the hunt for those responsible will not stop with these verdicts and I would urge anyone with information to contact the police."
When his father came to his aid he too was stabbed but survived.
Yesterday at the Old Bailey, Christopher Walters, 23, of Lovett Way, on the St Raphael’s Estate in Neasden, and Loen Burton, 17, from Mill Hill, were found guilty of Mr Fitzpatrick’s murder.
Abdi Aziz Hassan, 17, of Warren Road, Cricklewood, convicted of manslaughter.
All three were also found guilty of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm in relation to Bernard Fitzpatrick.
Walters had admitted violent disorder but Burton and Hassan had denied the charge and found guilty.
Mustafa Bereima, 20, of Banting House in Ainsworth Close, Dollis Hill, and brothers Ali and Hamadi Abdallah, 20 and 26 respectively, both of Mackenzie House, also in Ainsworth Close, were convicted of violent disorder.
Raphael De Jesus, 25, from Feltham, was found guilty of assisting an offender but acquitted of violent disorder.
DCI Tim Duffield, who led the investigation, said: “I want to make it clear that the hunt for those responsible will not stop with these verdicts and I would urge anyone with information to contact the police.
“Luke Fitzpatrick’s life was cut tragically short when a group of men took it upon themselves to storm the Ox and Gate pub, armed with a variety of weapons including sticks and knives. Luke’s father was himself seriously injured, stabbed repeatedly as he tried to nurse his dying son where he had fallen.
“Luke had no quarrel with these men. He was a hard-working and immensely popular young man who paid with his life for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“I’d like to express my sincere thanks to the many people who found the courage to come forward and assist the police, sending a clear message that local communities can make a huge impact in the fight against violent crime.
“I would like to personally extend my sincere thanks to Luke’s family. The dignity and courage they have shown throughout has been truly humbling.”
Jurors heard on the fateful night Walters had become involved in a fight with another man in a shop across the road from the pub.
The shopkeeper helped break up the altercation but Walters plotted revenge and called his friends and associates. He was heard by the shop staff making calls and saying “this pub needs to be shut down” and “you guys have to come here, where are you blud?”
Within an hour, at around 11.25pm, a group of around 15 youths, many with their faces covered, arrived outside the pub armed with a variety of weapons, including sticks, poles, knives and even a crutch, and were shouting aggressively.
Walters, brandishing a knife, led the way and threatened the doorman before the mob tried to storm the pub.
The man they were looking for had long gone and the drinkers threw furniture, bottles and glasses after them and some - including Luke - give chase as the incident spilled back outside.
As Luke turned the corner into Alder Grove the youths confronted him and he was stabbed in the chest with a knife believed to be around 19.5cm long.
His father Bernard, who had been running behind, raced to help his son and was stabbed several times to his abdomen and the back of his legs before he passed out.
Paramedics operated on Luke on the street but he pronounced dead at the scene 12.09am.
His father was taken to St Mary’s Hospital and underwent surgery for life-threatening injuries.
He has since made a full recovery.
The court heard that Ali Abdallah was the first to be called by Walters and was responsible for ringing round a number of associates as part of the “call to arms” including his brother Hamadi.
De Jesus made his way in his BMW and after the stabbing he drove Burton and Ali Abdallah away from the scene.
Bereima’s phone was recovered by police and information obtained from his handset indicated he was present at the time of the attack.
Blood trails at the scene placed both Burton and Hassan, close to the point of the murder.
A blood-stained glove was recovered from a front garden in Paddock Road by an alleyway used as an escape route by the men and DNA samples matched that of Hassan.
All seven were arrested between 21 May and 22 November last year and subsequently charged.
They have been remanded in custody and will be sentenced on June 7.
Anyone with information to help DCI Duffield trace the other men can call the incident room in confidence on 0208 358 0400 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Click on the picture gallery on the right to see the images of the other defendants.