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Man jailed for murder after bloodied handprint linked him to crime scene

A man has been jailed for the murder of Errol McKay in Wandsworth after forensic examiners managed to link him to the scene through a bloodied handprint.

Raekwon Hanniford-Brown, 23, appeared at Croydon Crown Court on Friday, 21 July where he was sentenced to life imprisonment to serve a minimum of 19 years.

The sentence follows his conviction at the same court on Wednesday, 19 July.

Detective Chief Inspector Laura Semple, of the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “I am pleased that this dangerous, violent individual will pay the penalty for his actions.

“My thoughts are with Errol’s family. I hope they can now find a measure of closure knowing that justice has been served.”

The court heard that the victim, Errol McKay, used drugs, and the defendant, a drug dealer, stored drugs in Mr McKay’s flat. In return for this, the defendant supplied Mr McKay with crack cocaine. Up until the night of the murder, the two had appeared to be on friendly terms.

At around 01:00hrs on 27 July 2022 the defendant went to the flat on Trinity Crescent and let himself in with a set of keys he had.

An argument broke out between him and Mr McKay about the keys he had used to get into the flat. This quickly developed into a physical fight that ended with Errol McKay sustaining fatal wounds.

A friend of the victim’s was at the flat at the time of the stabbing. The defendant told her to call an ambulance and put pressure on the wounds.

He then moved the safe where he stored his drugs, left the scene on a bicycle, disposed of the knife and attempted to leave the country.

Paramedics attended the scene and fought to save Errol, but despite their efforts, he sadly died at the scene.

Forensic examiners found extensive bloodstaining inside the address, not only in the lounge where the attack took place, but also in the kitchen where someone had attempted to clean their hands. In addition, a hand print was found, in blood, in the bedroom. The fingerprints were Hanniford-Brown’s.

On 28 July 2022, Hanniford-Brown was arrested at Gatwick Airport as he attempted to leave the UK for Paris. He was charged on 29 July 2022 with Errol’s murder.

Throughout the investigation the defendant maintained that he had been attacked and was simply defending himself. He said that he had to stab Errol in order to protect himself.

DCI Semple added: “Hanniford-Brown claimed that he acted in self-defence and that he suffered with PTSD and a phobia of knives, he also said that if it wasn’t self-defence, he at least hadn’t intended to cause Errol serious harm.

“However, the severity of the wounds he inflicted, the mobile phone data and the steps he took to distance himself from the incident, indicated otherwise.

“The attack on Errol was one of extreme brutality – he was stabbed 24 times causing catastrophic injuries to his head and neck – inflicting wounds of that nature is indicative of a frenzied attack, not self-defence.”

A spokesperson for Errol’s family, said: “Errol was the youngest of nine children, the baby of the family. He was a loving son, brother, uncle and nephew. Errol was humble, funny and affectionate. A kind-hearted man who prioritised family.

“He extended his love and kindness beyond family; to friends and people in society who needed support. It was impossible to dislike Errol and as a result, he had many friends who loved him as he loved them. Errol’s door was always open.

“This man took Errol’s life then tried to run away. Some of us have been able to forgive, others have not, cannot and will not.

“Errol was taken from us too soon but leaves behind a legacy of love.”

A man and a woman, both aged in their 40s, were arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder. They were taken into custody and were later released on bail and have since been told that no further action will be taken.

(Source: Metropolitan Police)

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