A Romford man is facing jail after he admitted killing a grandfather from Dagenham who was beaten to death in a row over a set of keys.
Clemuth Roberts, 58, died from a blunt force trauma to the head after he was attacked in Stanhope Road, Dagenham, in December 2016.
Today at the Old Bailey, Ben Harper, 21, had his guilty plea for manslaughter accepted by the prosecution. Harper he had denied murder but offered the plea of guilty to manslaughter at a previous hearing last month.Odd report. It sounds like a domestic, or neighbourhood dispute, doesn't it? The police don't shed any more light.
In a statement on their website Met Police said: "Police were called at just before 1pm to Stanhope Road, Dagenham following reports of a fight.
"Officers and London Ambulance Service attended and found 58-year-old Clemuth suffering from assault related injuries.
"He died at the scene a short while later.
"A post mortem examination was carried out at Queens Hospital and the cause of death was given as blunt force trauma to the head."But if we travel back to the time of the killing, a different picture emerges:
It is understood Mr Roberts, a music and cricket enthusiast, ran after a group of youngsters to retrieve a bunch of keys which had gone missing from his home.So this was a robbery. And not by just one person.
A 17-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl who were arrested on suspicion of murder were later released with no further action.So why is he alone in the dock?
Mr Roberts’s devastated family today paid tribute to the “loving” family man who was devoted to his 14 grandchildren. He moved to the UK from the West Indies with his parents as a teenager and had worked for many years as a mechanic before getting a job as a van courier.
His eldest daughter Simone Roberts, 37, a cleaner, told the Standard: “He was well known and much-loved. He always had a big smile on his face, just a fun person who’d help anyone.
“He was a lovely man who didn’t deserve to die. Everybody feels the same - angry, upset and we can’t believe this happened to him.
“We’re not having a Christmas this year, I’ve had to explain to my children that everything is cancelled. Thursday is my birthday and I have been asked to identify my dad’s body.”
Detectives from the Homicide and Major Crime Command have launched a murder investigation after the attack in Stanhope Road, with officers still on the scene last night carrying out forensic tests and house-to-house enquiries.
A neighbour said: “It’s evil and cruel at any time, but a week before Christmas it’s just heartbreaking.
“Police said it was all over stolen car keys and the two boys literally beat the poor man to death.”So where's the other 'boy'? And why is a violent robbery ending in murder of the victim (because it IS murder, despite the CPS laxity) being a) reduced to manslaughter and b) reported in such bland, unthreatening, 'don't scare the public' terms?
I can see why the police have a vested interest in trying not to let on to the public just how violent the streets are becoming, but I see no reason why the press should help them in this.
Maybe more will be revealed when the killer is sentenced?