Case: Body found in canal: Sebastiano Magnanini
Sebastiano Magnanini
Case unsolved
Status: Unsolved
Categories: Drug Related
Case synopsis:

Sebastiano Magnanini, 46, was found dead in the Regent's Canal on 24 September 2015.

His body was spotted submerged in the water close to the entrance of Islington Tunnel by a member of the public at 9.07am.

Mr Magnanini's hands and feet had been bound together in the foetal position, with his laces tied to the shopping trolley before being covered in a sheet.

A postmortem could not find a cause of death but tests found a high level of morphine in his blood stream.

The police investigation revealed that Mr Magnanini, an Italian carpenter living in south London, was last seen alive on public transport heading into central London on 22 September. His phone was last used just after 7pm.

Prosecuting, William Emlyn Jones said: 'He had trouble with class A drugs and it seems there is no doubt he had gone to Kings Cross with the intention of purchasing.

'There was some evidence of injuries to his face, a broken nose consistent with a fall or a fight.

CCTV footage revealed his body was taken to the canal on a shopping trolley by two men and dumped into the water at around 5.13am.

On 6 January 2016 Paul Williams, 61, of no fixed address, and Michael Walsh, 41, of Wharfedale Road, King's Cross, admitted preventing lawful burial. Walsh and Daniel Hastie, 22, of Tottenham, north London, admitted conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation for using the victim's bank card after his death.

On 8 March 2016 Walsh was jailed for four years, Williams was jailed for two years and Hastie was jailed for 12 months.

The court heard Walsh claimed he went back to Mr Magnanini's flat to take drugs and used his bank card to make a series of cash withdrawals totalling £2,000. Walsh also recruited Hastie, who was captured on CCTV at an ATM using the card.

Walsh claimed he returned to the flat the next morning to find Mr Magnanini dead from an overdose and recruited Williams to help dispose of the body.

Michael Walsh (left) claimed he found Sebastiano Maganini dead

Detective Chief Inspector Rebecca Reeves of the Homicide and Major Crime Command said: "I am pleased that Walsh, Williams and Hastie have been convicted for their actions relating to Sebastiano's death. Williams and Walsh concealed his body and made a concerted effort to make sure that it wouldn't be traced.

"This has been devastating for Sebastiano's family. Walsh and Williams showed a callous disregard for the consequences of their actions and Walsh stole from a man who was either dead or dying. If they had been successful in concealing Sebastiano's body, his family would have had to endure even longer than they did without knowing where he was or what had happened to him."

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police via the incident room on 020 8721 4868, alternatively, the police non-emergency line on 101 or to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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