Archie Sheppard murder: John Doherty admits stabbing Neasden bus passenger on top deck of 189

John Doherty has admitted fatally stabbing a Neasden man (Picture: Met Police)

John Doherty has admitted fatally stabbing a Neasden man (Picture: Met Police) - Credit: Archant

A Neasden man who was stabbed to death while asleep on a bus was murdered by his friend after a day out.

Victim Archie Sheppard

Victim Archie Sheppard - Credit: Archant

Archie Sheppard, 48, had been drinking with his killer John Doherty before the pair got on the 189 at Brent Cross shortly before midnight on April 27.

The 39-year-old, from Clem Atlee Court in Fulham, yesterday admitted murder and three counts of possession of an offensive weapon at the Old Bailey.

The court heard Doherty met up with Mr Sheppard in Willesden and the pair spent the day riding buses.

They finally boarded a 189 and headed towards central London.

Both men went to the top deck where Doherty sat at the back and Mr Sheppard a few rows in front, where he fell asleep. But as the bus left Park Lane, Doherty moved forward and launched the unprovoked attack on Mr Sheppard, police said.

Mr Sheppard woke up and tried to fend off Doherty but the attack continued for three minutes, with a fatal stab wound to an artery in his leg.

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Doherty fled and soon afterwards a passenger boarding the bus went to the top deck and found Mr Sheppard slumped in his seat, critically injured.

Emergency services tried to save his life but he died at the scene shortly after midnight.

Police investigating quickly identified Doherty from CCTV taken from the bus and arrested him in Fulham the next day.

He was found in possession of two knives and the Oyster card he’d used before and after the murder.

During interview, Doherty admitted being with Archie on the day, but claimed he was not able to remember the evening after suffering memory loss.

Det Insp Simon Deefholts from the Met’s murder squad said: “The motive for Archie Sheppard’s murder remains unclear. Only John Doherty can say why he chose to murder Archie in such a cowardly and brutal manner while Archie was defenceless, asleep on a bus.

“The overwhelming evidence gathered by my team left Doherty with no option other than to admit his guilt in court.

“Doherty is a dangerous man who routinely chose to arm himself with knives. He was found in possession of two further knives when officers arrested him a day after Archie’s murder.

“The public should be reassured that we will do everything within our powers to apprehend those carrying or using knives.”

Doherty will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on Friday.