Crime & the Law

Two teenagers and a man sentenced for the killing of Martin Thomas in his own home in Roehampton

The Central Criminal Court in London

Central Criminal Court in the Old Bailey, London. Image: LMMNews

An Old Bailey judge has handed down long sentences to two youths and a 20 year old man involved in the stabbing to death of Martin Thomas in his own home in Roehampton.

16 year old Usher Ricardo Sawyers from Carlton Drive in Putney was only 15 when he attacked Mr Thomas, who was 39.

The judge has recommended he serve 15 years of custody after being found guilty of murder and robbery.

20 year old Odel Munroe-Sobers from Sudbury House in Wandsworth High Street, has been was jailed 12-years after being found guilty manslaughter and robbery.

A 14-year-old boy from the Wandsworth area who was 13 at the time of the attack received seven years of custody for convictions on manslaughter and robbery.

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The court heard how neighbours saw three males entering Mr Thomas’s home in Huntingfield Road, Roehampton, at 8 pm 22nd April last year.

Within minutes the three were seen fleeing from the scene.

Sawyers had entered the property first before stabbing Mr Thomas five times.

The others waited outside until given a signal to enter and steal property.

Police were called and found Mr Thomas slumped in his kitchen.

DNA from a deerstalker hat left by Sawyers at the scene led to the identification of the defendants.

Judge Gerald Gordon said:

You ended the life of a man who had come to this country seeking safety from persecution for his lifestyle and thought he had found it.

He told Sawyers he had identified his victim as the ‘perfect target’ because he believed there was – on his part – a sexual element to their relationship.

What is clear by that day, you had identified him as a person who would be unlikely to report you to police afterwards and therefore a perfect target for robbery.

Victim of murder. 39 year old Martin Thomas from Roehampton. Image: Met Police

Victim of murder. 39 year old Martin Thomas from Roehampton. Image: Met Police

Investigating officer Detective Inspector Andrew Rees, of the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command, said:

Martin Thomas was the victim of a terrifying and vicious attack in his own home. Whilst he knew one of his attackers, such incidents in the home are still incredibly rare and isolated.

I am very grateful to the local community who helped us to piece together the tragic events leading to Mr Thomas’s death. I hope today’s verdict goes some way to bringing some solace to his family and friends at this very difficult time.

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