Police name pensioner, 87, as victim found dead at London railway station – as suspect, 22, is charged with murder and appears in court

Police have today named an 87-year-old man who was found dead at a London railway station as Bernard Fowler.

Detectives have charged a 22-year-old man with murder after Mr Fowler was killed at Harold Wood railway station yesterday. 

Miles Skai of Brent Cross, Hendon, appeared before Barkingside Magistrates, where he was accused of murdering Mr Fowler from Havering.

Officers were called to Harold Wood railway station just after 4.30am yesterday morning after a member of staff reported an individual was badly hurt and lying on the floor.

Despite the best efforts of the Metropolitan Police and London Ambulance Service, Mr Fowler – who was found with extensive injuries – was pronounced dead at the scene.

A friend of Mr Fowler said he lived close to Harold Wood Rail station. Alan, 55, who had known him since his childhood said: ‘He was the kindest, sweetest man you could meet. I used to call him uncle Bernie.

Pictures from Harold Wood station shows a forensic tent in place and a police cordon yesteday

Detectives from British Transport Police (BTP) have launched a murder investigation

Detectives from British Transport Police (BTP) have launched a murder investigation

‘He was a friend of my fathers, and he was a retired mechanic. He was so kind that when I turned 18, he gave me a Triumph Toledo car for nothing.

‘I can’t understand how a poor defenceless elderly man has been killed like this. He would not have provoked anyone. He wasn’t cantankerous or anything like that.

‘He would go on holiday with my family and we loved having him with us. ‘

His wife Lisa added: ‘I never once saw him angry, or heard him raise his voice. He was just the nicest man.

‘At that time of the morning, all he would have been doing, was picking up his newspaper from the station. I can’t believe there could be any reason why he could be killed like this.’

Detective Chief Inspector Sam Blackburn said yesterday that the ‘act of unprovoked violence was despicable.’ 

Neighbour Jayashree Jay, 46, heard raised voices and screaming from home in a three story block of flats overlooking the station.

She said: ‘I heard screaming at around 4am and didn’t really think much of it.

‘I often hear shouting at people, make another noise because I’m so close to the station.

‘But at 4:30, I heard people screaming for help, and then when I came to my balcony, I saw that a man was lying dead and the police were holding a younger man in the road.’

Ms Jay, a support worker, laid flowers at the scene in tribute to the victim.

Police were pictured at the scene yesterday in the early hours of the morning

Police were pictured at the scene yesterday in the early hours of the morning 

She added: ‘The police put a tent up around the man’s body, and then they bought out his crutch or walking stick. It was heartbreaking to see.’

A local newsagent said: ‘I used to see him when he came in for a newspaper. He had a walking stick. He is in his seventies.

‘He would come in to the shop early. But when we decided to open later we did not see him.’

Mr Fowler died outside the station where the first Elizabeth Line train leaves for Paddington at 4.52am.

The time of the killing is said to have been when staff open the station and free newspapers have already been delivered, station employees said.

One said: ‘The police haven’t told us anything. We just had to close the station down yesterday.’

Today officers were still in the area with cameras that can take 360 pictures of the crime scene for evidence.

Mr Fowler’s family has asked for their privacy to be respected at this time. 

Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Sam Painter said: ‘My thoughts are with Bernard’s family and loved ones at this time. His family are currently being supported by specially trained officers.

‘I know how shocking and concerning this incident has been to the community and I would like to reassure the public that this was an isolated incident. I would ask the public not to speculate any further on the incident.

‘We are carrying out high visibility patrols in the area and are working alongside our colleagues at the Metropolitan Police to provide visible reassurance.’

Miles Skai will next appear at the Old Bailey on Friday 1 March.


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