‘Vicious’ machete killer who murdered mother taking food to sons in lockdown jailed for 41 years

‘Vicious’ machete killer who murdered mother taking food to sons in lockdown jailed for 41 years

Shadika Patel, 40, was waiting for a bus when she was stabbed seven times by the killer

A killer who brought ‘the stuff of nightmares’ to the streets of East London when he hacked a mother to death with a machete and tried to murder another woman has been jailed for at least 41 years.

James Sinclair, 31, picked Shadika Patel, 40, at random when she was on her way to deliver a suitcase of food to her teenage sons in East Ham ahead of the first Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020.

Her screams were recorded on a CCTV camera as Sinclair – who is now facing a life sentence – slashed her across the head and shoulders with a hunting knife. Surgeons battled to save Mrs Patel, but she was pronounced dead that night.

The following night Sinclair attacked a sex worker called Beverley Barzey in Islington, who went down an alleyway with him.

He stabbed her at least 12 times with a machete, but she survived after a couple shouted at the killer and she received quick medical treatment.

Sinclair was given a life sentence and will serve a minimum of 41 years in jail before he can be considered for parole.

Bill Emlyn Jones, prosecuting told the jury during the case: ‘What we are concerned in this case with is, I’m afraid, the stuff of nightmares.’ 

He did not attend his trial or his sentencing, having refused to attend court today even after the judge wrote him a letter. 

The Recorder of London, Judge Mark Lucraft, QC, said: ‘Both of these women were out on their own late at night and were both brutally attacked by you.’

James Sinclair, 31, has been found guilty of stabbing a mother-of-two to death and attempting to murder another woman 24 hours later in two 'unprovoked' attacks in London

James Sinclair, 31, has been found guilty of stabbing a mother-of-two to death and attempting to murder another woman 24 hours later in two ‘unprovoked’ attacks in London

Of Ms Patel’s murder, the judge said: ‘Although the attack took place out of the video coverage of cameras [it] records what can only be described as a chilling audio of the attack.

‘You were looking to find a lone female to attack.

‘She was alone, late at night on deserted streets and was chosen by you for those reasons.

‘This was a savage and sustained attack.

‘It is clear that a significant degree of pain and suffering was caused to Shadika before her death.’

Turning to the attack on Ms Barzey, Judge Lucraft added: ‘The two of you went to a dark alley.

‘You produced a large knife…and attacked her with it.

‘Once again you left her for dead.’

On the day of the murder, Prime Minister Boris Johnson had advised against all non-essential travel ahead of the start of the national lockdown one week later.

As a result the streets of London were ‘unusually quiet’, the court heard.

Ms Patel had planned to get a coach to Leicester but for some reason she was on Altmore Avenue in East Ham by a bus stop for more than three hours.

Sinclair was looking for a woman on her own and when he saw Mrs Patel from a bus, he got off to attack her. ‘At a little past half past midnight, she was approached on foot by a man and that man was the defendant,’ said Mr Emlyn Jones.

‘There is good quality CCTV covering the location, and the defendant and Ms Patel can be seen to engage in what looks like a brief and slightly awkward conversation. They then separated. But the defendant did not leave.

‘Instead, he ducked out of Shadika Patel’s view, behind a wall, where he can be seen on the CCTV to put a glove on his right hand. He then emerged and ran after Ms Patel.

‘He caught up with her just out of the field of view of the camera, but there is a microphone on that camera which recorded the audio of what happened next.

‘What happened was that the defendant stabbed Shadika Patel seven times, before running away. He stabbed her in the face and in the head and in the shoulders. Both of her lungs were punctured.’

Ms Patel’s screams were overheard by residents in the area and one of them made a 999 call. Emergency services arrived to find her in ‘critical condition’ and she was taken to Newham General Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 1.44am.

Sinclair went home after the attack and the next night he was on the street again, armed with a machete.

‘Ms Barzey was prepared to accompany the defendant to a secluded location in order to engage, she thought, in sexual activity with him in return for money,’ the prosecutor said.

The Crown Prosecution Service said the prosecution case 'included DNA evidence and CCTV footage, which clearly linked Sinclair to the attacks'. He is pictured on CCTV above

The Crown Prosecution Service said the prosecution case ‘included DNA evidence and CCTV footage, which clearly linked Sinclair to the attacks’. He is pictured on CCTV above

‘But that is not what he wanted and that is not what happened. The two of them went together into a dark alleyway, and when they got there the defendant drew a large knife.

‘Miss Barzey describes it as being like a machete. And he attacked her with it, stabbing her repeatedly, like Ms Patel, to the face and mainly to the upper body.

‘In her case one of her lungs, her left lung, was punctured and collapsed. And the defendant left her there for dead, ran away, and went home.’

When he learned the police were after him, Sinclair booked a flight to Rio de Janiero, but was arrested before he could get to the airport.

Ms Patel’s blood was found in the pocket of his puffer jacket, and Ms Barzey’s blood on one of his trainers.

Sinclair was living in a hostel room at Three Colt Street in Poplar, which is provided by ‘Look Ahead’, a mental health charity.

He denied murder and attempted murder, but did not give evidence and offered no real defence. The jury took just 40 minutes to convict him of both charges on Wednesday, July 6.

Speaking after the conviction, Samantha Yelland, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said the attacks were ‘unprovoked’.

On the day of the murder - on March 19, 2020 - Prime Minister Boris Johnson had advised against all non-essential travel ahead of start of the national lockdown one week later

On the day of the murder – on March 19, 2020 – Prime Minister Boris Johnson had advised against all non-essential travel ahead of start of the national lockdown one week later

‘These were opportunistic, unprovoked and vicious attacks on two women while they were alone and in the dark’, she added.

‘James Sinclair targeted his victims leaving them both for dead in the street. Shadika Patel was a concerned mother who had packed a bag of food to take to her children ahead of the national lockdown. She was brutally murdered before she even got on the bus.

‘The prosecution case included DNA evidence and CCTV footage, which clearly linked Sinclair to the attacks. Workers at the hostel that Sinclair had been staying at were also able to identify him from images that the police presented to them. The clothes that Sinclair had been wearing when he murdered Ms Patel were found inside his room.

‘All women should be free to walk through the streets of London without fearing violent attacks. The CPS is committed to prosecuting those who carry out violent acts against women.

‘I hope these convictions provide some sense of justice to the family and friends of Ms Patel. Our thoughts remain with them at this time.’

Sinclair, of Tower Hamlets, east London, denied but was convicted of murder and attempted murder.

He has been locked up for at least 41 years for the murder and will serve a concurrent life sentence with a minimum of 18 years for the attempted murder.

Detective Inspector John Marriott, the lead investigator, said: ‘James Sinclair’s actions have devastated the lives of Shadika’s friends and family and left her two teenage sons without a mother.

‘It is incomprehensible why he chose to attack two lone women at night. Incidents such as this are rare and my team of detectives worked at pace to identify Sinclair before he could attack anyone else.

‘Tackling violence against women and girls is an absolute priority for the Met. Every day our officers are working with partners across the capital to improve safety in our public spaces.

‘Women should not have to change their behaviour and should be able to go about their business, feeling safe, any time of day or night. It’s our job to ensure that happens – but officers cannot be in all places at all times.

‘I would urge our community, especially women, to report any suspicious or unwanted behaviour and seek help if you feel threatened.

‘These appalling crimes have no place in our society. We are determined to bring perpetrators to justice, while improving safety for everyone in London.

‘Everyone should be able to their lives free of the fear of violence.’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10995515/Vicious-machete-killer-murdered-mother-taking-food-sons-lockdown-jailed-41-years.html

Recommended For You