Case: Stabbing in Clapton: James Sweeney
Victim
Name:
James Sweeney
Gender:
Male
Date:
2013-05-04
Nationality:
British
Weapon:
Knife
Killer
Name:
Jeremy Lewis
Gender:
Male
Nationality:
British
Killer
Name:
Raul Hesse
Gender:
Male
Nationality:
British
Status: Solved
Categories: Drug Related
Case synopsis:

James Sweeney, 30, was stabbed to death at a block of flats in Clapton, east London, on 6 May 2013.

The Argos shop worker from Montserrat was found injured near his home in Lea View House off Jessam Avenue at around 9.10pm.

Mr Sweeney, also known as Kenry Sweeney, was pronounced dead at the scene. A postmortem gave the cause of death as stab wounds to the chest and abdomen.

On 8 May police charged Jeremy Lewis, 29 [23/4/84], of Collinson Court, Generals Walk, Enfield, with murder. Two others were charged with murder and conspiracy to burgle on 8 August: Marlon Cox, 22 [15/2/91], of Queens Drive, Finsbury Park, and Hezie Renee, 22 [13/5/91], of Sigdon Road, Hackney. A fourth suspect, Raul Hesse [24/10/90], of no fixed address, was charged on 17 August.

The trial started at the Old Bailey on 7 April 2014. The prosecution claimed that all four were involved in a plan to raid a skunk cannabis factory at the house occupied by Mr Sweeney.

Prosecutor Mark Heywood QC said: 'They knew there was a skunk cannabis factory in a particular house in the area where they lived.

'It was a large house occupied by just one man who lived in a room downstairs. They planned to force their way into the property and take what they could, the plants, the equipment and any money.

'In the event the plan went awry and the man who lived there was present. They must have stabbed him as they forced their way through the doors.

'They took nothing of value - all they took was his life, because he simply got in their way. They could not afford to be stopped by him or recognised by him, so in a struggle that took place in his own room they killed him.'

James Sweeney tried to defend himself with a knife and stabbed Lewis twice before being knifed eight times. One of the wounds to the stomach was so deep the tip of the blade buried itself in his spine.

The court was told Renee went with Lewis to hospital in a white van being driven by Cox. Hesse was linked to the burglary by phone records, CCTV and association with Lewis.

Lewis and Hesse admitted conspiracy to burgle before the trial but denied responsibility for the fatal attack.

During the trial Cox and Renee were acquitted of murder. On 20 May 2014 the jury acquitted Cox and Renee of conspiracy to burgle. The following day Lewis and Hesse were convicted of murder.

On 22 May Lewis and Hesse were sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 30 years before parole.

Jeremy lewis

Killers Jeremy Lewis (left) and Raul Hesse

Judge Christopher Moss QC said: 'While I accept that neither of you expected to find Mr Sweeney in residence, when you did, your joint reaction was brutal and fatal.

'Each of you sought to blame the other for the death. I did not believe for one moment either of your accounts given during the course of the trial.'

Detective Chief Inspector Neale Baldock, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: "It has never been established what sparked the argument which led to the brutal murder of James Sweeney. However, what is clear is that Mr Sweeney was attacked in a brutal manner and with lethal force.

"I can only hope that the verdict offers some solace to Mr Sweeney's friends and family who have had to deal with the tragic consequences of this mindless, violent act."

The family of James Sweeney said in a statement: "We the family of James Kenry Sweeney, have lost a father, brother uncle and best friend. He was just 30 years of age. Words cannot describe the pain we bear from his passing and the brutal manner of his killing. We, his mother, his cousins, his life partner, his best friends and his children, Kendrina and Dylan miss him so dearly; we are utterly broken by his murder.

"James was so loving, so strong, so personable and humble. Everybody who knew him loved him. This was evident at his funeral which was a huge comfort to our family. Even now in death I will always commend my partner's dedication as a father. He worked hard for the little he had, and that little went to his children. The family James had created here in this country, with Michelle amoateng his long term partner his son Dylan Harris Amoateng, his daughter Kendrina, his cousin and best friends Travis & Stacey Tuitt meant everything to him."

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