Case: A Senseless Act: The murder of Daneshia Arthur
Daneshia Arthur
Delton Coley
Status: Solved
Categories: Domestic
Case synopsis:

Mother-of-one Daneshia Arthur, 30, was stabbed to death in front of her two year-old daughter at her home in Dagenham, east London.

Her body was discovered in the hallway behind the front door of the house in Baden Powell Close shortly before 6.50pm on 18 March 2013.

Daneshia, a graduate from the London College of Fashion, had suffered at least 20 stab wounds to the face, neck and chest and was pronounced dead at the scene.

On 20 March detectives charged her former partner Delton Coley, 36 [9/3/77], of no fixed address, with murder.

Coley, an agency chef, pleaded guilty to murder on 9 September 2013 and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 17 years before parole.

Delton Coley

Killer Delton Coley and victim Daneshia Arthur

The Old Bailey heard Coley had a previous conviction for battery after punching a previous partner in the face in 2007.

His relationship with Daneshia started that same year but broke down at around the time she became pregnant with their daughter in August 2010.

Coley continued to visit his daughter but tension arose because of his habit of turning up unannounced at the family home.

On the day of the killing, at around 1.40pm, Daneshia called her mother to complain that Coley had asked to come round but she was getting ready to go out.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett said: 'In the moments that followed, Coley must have turned up at the address, lost his temper and attacked Daneshia with at least one of the knives in the bag he had with him.'

Coley was caught on CCTV at Becontree tube station at 2.12pm with his daughter in a buggy.

He was arrested in East Ham the next day after telling a friend: 'I didn't mean to do it. She pissed me off.'

Coley told police that he had argued with Daneshia because she had 'gone a bit distant' and took out a knife to threaten her, adding: 'Then I just flicked in my head. It was a moment of madness.'

It was accepted he did not bring his knives to the scene intending to use them as a weapon because he had a reason for carrying them as a chef. This reduced the starting point for the minimum term from 25 years to 15 years.

The Recorder of London, judge Brian Barker QC, said: 'This was a dreadful act, a senseless act, and you have to live with it.

'You killed her in frustration and temper, and you also killed her in front of your young daughter.

'This was a terrible end to an ill-fated relationship. A young woman with abilities, determination, and potential has lost her life. You have robbed that child of her mother, and a family of a loved one'

Detective Inspector Andy Yeats of the Homicide and Major Crime Command said: "As a result of Delton Coley's actions, the family of Daneshia Arthur have been left devastated.

"Immediately after attacking Daneshia, Coley had the opportunity to contact the emergency services and potentially save the life of the mother of his child. He chose not to do this, but instead fled the scene - a despicable act by a cowardly man."

In a victim impact statement, Daneshia's mother Coleen Ollivierre said: 'Daneshia's three year-old daughter is left mumless, traumatised, frightened and insecure.

'How sad this child witnessed her mother murdered. She remembers what she saw each day. When she has a crayon in her hand she demonstrates the actions of the attack by plunging the crayon into the paper.'

Ms Ollivierre added: 'Daneshia was in the process of setting up her own business and had made samples to showcase to other business.

'She was ambitious and focused with a bright future ahead of her which has been taken away.

'Daneshia's death has destroyed our lives and family. We are traumatised, broken hearted, emotionally unstable, shocked and finding it hard to accept that we have to experience such a great loss.

'We have lost a very, very special daughter, mother, sister and friend. A very loving woman, a very caring woman with a good character and sense of humour. Daneshia was strong willed, motivated, trustworthy and reliable.'

Daneshia's brother Gregory Arthur said: "Daneshia was a focused and beautiful individual inside and out and to be taken from us in this manner is devastating and unjust. We have to pick up the pieces that this coward has left behind."

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