Shadika Patel: Man murdered mother taking lockdown food to sons

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Shadika Mohsin PatelImage source, Met Police
Image caption,
Shadika Mohsin Patel had two teenage sons but lived alone, the Met Police said

A "truly dangerous" man who targeted women on the streets of east London has been found guilty of murdering a woman as she left home to take food to her sons ahead of the first Covid lockdown.

James Sinclair stabbed to death 40-year-old Shadika Patel, who he did not know, in East Ham, on 19 March, 2020.

He was also convicted by the jury of attempting to murder Beverley Barzey, 48, the next night in Islington.

Prosecutor William Emlyn Jones QC called it "the stuff of nightmares".

Sinclair, 31, is set to be sentenced at the same court, the Old Bailey, on Friday.

During the trial, jurors were told Ms Patel had been planning to deliver a food parcel to her two teenage sons after it was announced the capital would soon be placed into lockdown to stop the spread of Covid-19.

CCTV images were shown at the trial of Sinclair going up to Ms Patel after she had left her home on the night she was killed.

After a "brief and slightly awkward" conversation the defendant and Ms Patel parted.

Image source, Met Police
Image caption,
James Sinclair declined to attend his trial at the Old Bailey

But Sinclair then ducked out of view and put a glove on his hand before running towards her and stabbing her seven times in the face, head and shoulders, jurors were told.

The following night Sinclair approached Beverley Barzey in Axminster Road, Islington, north London.

Sinclair had led his victim down an alleyway before attacking her with a machete-style knife, stabbing her 16 times.

Travel to Brazil

Neighbours were woken up by her screams and shouted at the defendant who ran off, the court heard.

DNA traces from the two women were found on clothing and a trainer police had seized from Sinclair's hostel address in Poplar, showing a one-in-a-billion match.

Sinclair booked a flight ticket and planned to travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 27 March, just a day after he was arrested, Mr Jones QC said.

The jury was told that Sinclair had chosen not to attend to his trial.

Defence barrister Gillian Jones QC said it was his "right" to be absent and told the jury not to hold it as evidence against him.

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