Morden Ladbrokes murder: Hammer killer jailed

Andrew Iacovou Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Andrew Iacovou was repeatedly hit on the head with a hammer

A man has been jailed for life for murdering a father-of-two who worked at a betting shop in south London.

Andrew Iacovou, 55, was repeatedly hit with a hammer at a branch of Ladbrokes in Aberconway Road, Morden, on 25 May.

Shafique Ahmad Aarij, 21, of no fixed address, was jailed for a minimum of 26 years. He denied murder claiming diminished responsibility.

The victim was knocked down after the first blow but Aarij went on to hit him another eight times, police said.

The Met Police said Mr Iacovou, who had worked for Ladbrokes for 25 years, was alone in the shop in the morning when he was hit on the head with the hammer.

After the attack Aarij stole more than £296 from the shop and wired most of that amount to Pakistan within 90 minutes of the fatal attack, police said.

'Incredibly violent'

Southwark Crown Court was shown CCTV footage from the shop that captured the killer looking for money as the victim lay on the floor.

Det Sgt Eric Sword said: "This was an incredibly violent and unprovoked attack on a hard-working father-of-two.

"The level of violence was completely disproportionate to what the suspect sought to achieve which was robbing the shop.

Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Aarij was jailed for a minimum of 26 years

"An initial hammer blow knocked the victim to the floor but Aarij continued to swing the weapon another eight times. He then calmly stepped over his victim in the hunt for cash."

In a victim impact statement Mr Iacovou's wife Anita said her husband was her main carer since she became disabled following an illness seven years ago and he used to look after their two children, boys aged 10 and 14.

The couple's 14-year-old son is autistic and his world has been turned "completely upside down" and the murder has left him frightened of leaving their flat.

The younger child "has somehow become the older brother and the carrier of all responsibilities of the family," Mrs Iacovou said.

She added: "Every step is so difficult and what happened to Andrew is never far from my thoughts.

"I worry about this man getting out and that he might find my family, I know it's irrational but I can't help it."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites