Three convicted of murdering Southend man

Mick Ferris

Three people have been convicted of the murder of a man who was found stabbed in Southend earlier this year.

Lee Chapman, 26, was found injured in Cromer Road at around 11.50pm on Friday March 6 and died in hospital from his injuries.

A forensic post-mortem examination found he had sustained multiple stab wounds including one which punctured his heart and another which punctured his lung.

A witness told officers they had seen a disturbance involving a group of people before one person, Lee, fell to floor and the others made off from the scene in a dark coloured vehicle.

While officers were at hospital on that night, they were alerted to a 16 year-old boy who had been admitted with stab wounds to his arm.

Officers carrying out house-to-house enquiries and studying CCTV identified a black Mercedes CLA 180 which was seen driving from the scene of the attack to the hospital at which point two people were seen getting out.

The time at which the vehicle arrived at the hospital coincided with the time the 16 year-old boy was admitted.

The boy and another teenager, who was 17 at the time but turned 18 during the trial, were identified as the two people getting out of the vehicle.

Both were later arrested on suspicion of murder on March 8.

Through ANPR and CCTV work police were also able to identify that another man – 24 year-old Tyrell Thompson – had been dropped off by the same vehicle at a taxi rank in Gidea Park.

He was arrested in Wimbledon on April 6.

All those involved were known to each other and had been in contact leading up to the attack.

Thompson, of Kingston Road, Wimbledon, was later charged with murder and perverting the course of justice.

The 18 year-old man and the 16 year-old boy, both of whom cannot be named for legal reasons, were charged with murder.

All three denied the charges but following a trial at Basildon Crown’ Court were found guilty on Tuesday December. 15

Thompson is due to be sentenced at the same court on Thursday December 17 while the other two are due to be sentenced next year.

A woman who had been charged with murder, 45 year-old Sarah Wahid, of Swanage Road, Southend, was found not guilty and she was also found not guilty of manslaughter.

Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Julie Gowen, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “Lee Chapman was a young man who had his whole life ahead of him. His life was cut short following a frenzied attack where he was stabbed multiple times before his attackers fled the scene leaving him on the ground for dead.

“Throughout the investigation my team have worked tirelessly, carefully piecing together the movements of those responsible for this horrendous crime and ensuring early arrests were made.

“This dangerous group of people will now spend a significant amount of time in prison, making Essex a safer place.

“I would like to thank Lee’s family for the support they have given to the investigation team and the courage they have shown. I hope today’s outcome will bring Lee’s family some justice and will give them some peace to allow them to move forward with their lives.”

Mick Ferris

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