Crime & the Law

Desmond Brooks jailed for life- minimum of 29 year years for murdering Keisha McKenzie

Murder victim Keisha McKenzie. Image: Met Police

Murder victim Keisha McKenzie. Image: Met Police

42 year old Desmond Brooks who murdered his ex-wife and tried to kill his current partner in a violent rampage in Brixton has been jailed for life at the Old Bailey with a recommendation he serves at least 29 years.

Brooks from Redlands Way pleaded guilty to the murder of Keisha McKenzie and attempted murder of Joan Wade, along with the violent assault on Keisha’s sister Saffron Yeboah-Simpson.

Judge Stephen Kramer said:

Over the period of about an hour on the evening of the 29th July 2013, you engaged in a stabbing spree properly said to be of extreme violence and ferocity. The catalogue of injuries inflicted is truly appalling.

The two surviving victims had been permanently disfigured and their victim impact statements made clear the made it clear the psychological effect of what Brooks had done to them.

Investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Will Reynolds, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said:

Brooks went on a lengthy and extremely violent rampage, intent on harming the women in his life.

Keisha’s injuries were so severe she never stood a chance while Joan is still recovering from her horrendous ordeal. Brooks used a variety of knives and the fact that his actions were witnessed by his own young children did nothing to rein him in.

His excuse was that he could no longer face the perceived ‘disrespect’ shown to him by these women. I am pleased he at least admitted his crimes and will now serve a lengthy sentence behind bars.

Desmond Brooks- life minimum 29 years for murder, attempted murder and grievous bodily harm. Image: Met Police

Desmond Brooks- life minimum 29 years for murder, attempted murder and grievous bodily harm. Image: Met Police

Brooks had gone to the flat they shared and in an entirely unprovoked attack, inflicted severe stab injuries on 46 year old Joan Wade.

Her jaw had been broken and the bones in her hands had been crushed with several of her fingers severed.

She was taken to hospital in a critical condition but made a recovery following reconstructive surgery.

Just 20 minutes after the first attack police were called to Pearce House, in Tilson Gardens where 17 year old Saffron Yeboah-Simpson, was found suffering from severe cuts to her face, head and wrists.

Police then found the body of Keisha McKenzie inside the hallway.

She had very severe stab wounds, her teeth had been smashed and she died at the scene.

Brooks and Keisha’s seven-year-old son had witnessed the murder.

Brooks was on the run and posted BBM messages stating he had attacked two people and was going to attack two more and then ‘have a party.’

Just after boarding a bus after midnight around Streatham Common North he confessed to the driver who flagged down a police vehicle and he was arrested.

When interviewed by detectives he said: ‘I couldn’t take it anymore both nagging me everyday, disrespecting me in front of others, couldn’t take it anymore man, couldn’t take it anymore.’

Brooks received the following concurrent sentences:

  • life imprisonment with a minimum of 29 years for the murder of Keisha McKenzie;
  • 19 years’ imprisonment for the attempted murder of Joan Wade;
  • 12 years’ imprisonment for GBH with intent against Saffron Yeboah-Simpson.
Keisha McKenzie. Image: Met Police

Keisha McKenzie. Image: Met Police

The family of Keisha and Saffron  said:

After 20 months the family of Keisha McKenzie are satisfied that we finally have some justice for Keisha.

We have lost Keisha forever but no amount of years will bring back the loving mother and bubbly, smiley daughter, auntie and sister that we all knew and loved.

We would like to thank the investigating team and all who have supported us during this traumatic and difficult time.

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