Ilford murder: Residents and shopkeepers ‘shocked’ by stabbing of Thomas Cudjoe

Residents and shopkeepers in Ilford are shocked by the murder of 29-year-old Thomas Cudjoe on Saturday morning.

Mr Cudjoe, of Richmond Road, Ilford, died of stab wounds to the chest and legs in the forecourt of the Shell petrol station in Ley Street at 3.15am.

Shops within a cordoned area running from the garage to the junction with Vicarage Lane had to remain closed until 6pm yesterday while detectives examined the crime scene.

Mr Cudjoe fell by the exit to the garage.

Troy Perera, working at the 24-hour garage this morning but not at the time of the stabbing, said: “It’s terrible, this area is getting worse.

“It’s a shocking incident.”

The Bell pub next to the garage is the only part of the street still cordoned off while police officers work inside.

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Tiqar Mahommad, who was running the pub on Friday night, said police had taken CCTV footage from inside it to investigate.

But he said there was no trouble inside the pub that evening.

It closed at 3.15am.

Mr Cudjoe was freed from jail in May five months into a sentence for possessing a firearm after the conviction was deemed “unsafe”.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard during a trial in 2011 that a handgun had been used to fire a bullet cartridge, found near the spot in Dagenham where two men were shot in August 2010.

Mr Cudjoe was tried for attempted murder and causing GBH, but was acquitted due to a lack of prosecution evidence.

Detectives are keeping an open mind as to the motive for his murder.

A 28-year-old neighbour of Mr Cudjoe’s in Richmond Road said:

“They are a very quiet family. No trouble. It’s surprising that he’s involved.

“There was never any problems, they’ve lived there a long time.”

Muhammed Rahman, 40, who lives in Ley Street, said: “I’ve never heard of this type of thing before.”

And a woman who has lived next door to the garage for 15 years and did not want to be named said: “It’s a shock.

“You hear of these incidents but not in Ilford and not in Ley Street.”

A blue Ford Focus, which two women were seen getting out of while the altercation was happening, was recovered at the scene.

Police are appealing for information, particularly from anyone who saw the blue Ford Focus, registered EJ57 OED, in Ilford on Friday or the early hours of Saturday morning.

Investigating officer Det Ch Insp John Sandlin said: “I also wish to speak with anyone who had been in The Bell pub that evening as well as anyone who saw the altercation at the Shell petrol station.”

There have been no arrests

Anyone with information should contact 020 8345 3865. To remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.