A 24-year-old was stabbed to death by a stranger for his designer bag just minutes away from his home.
TYLER Roye, 24, who worked as a hotel concierge in Stratford, was stabbed five times in the back and abdomen in Bywood Avenue, Croydon.
He was treated at the scene and on arrival at hospital, but later died in theatre on February 26, 2020.
Samuel Odupitan, 23, of Longheath Gardens, Croydon, was convicted of killing Tyler at Croydon Crown Court on Tuesday, December 1, and will be sentenced on Monday, December 7.
The court heard that on the evening of February 25, Tyler had finished work at around 11pm and began his journey home.
Boarding a tram at East Croydon, he entered the same carriage as Odupitan, who had travelled from West Croydon.
CCTV footage captured Odupitan watching Tyler intently, even moving seats to get closer to him.
Detectives believe he was drawn to the distinctive Bengal tiger embossed Gucci messenger-style bag Tyler was carrying.
When they reached the Arena stop, Tyler made his way of off the tram; completely unaware that he was being followed by Odupitan.
Within minutes, Tyler – who had just called his girlfriend – was approached by Odupitan.
She heard Tyler say “Bro, bro..” before the line went dead. Odupitan stabbed Tyler five times before running from the scene.
After the incident, Tyler managed to get to the nearby address of a friend, where he raised the alarm.
He collapsed inside the property. One of the wounds to his torso was 15 centimeters deep and had cut through his lung and aorta.
Tyler had been carrying a bag containing boxes of doughnuts for his family.
This bag was found near to where he had been attacked; ripped open with the food strewn across the pavement.
Tyler’s iPhone and ear pods were also discovered, but his Gucci bag was missing.
An investigation was launched by officers from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command [Homicide].
As a result of inquiries surrounding Tyler’s journey, Odupitan was identified from CCTV footage and on March 1 officers Odupitan was arrested and a search of the property was carried out; but officers were unable to locate not only Tyler’s bag, but also the jacket, trousers and trainers that Odupitan had been seen wearing that night.
An examination of Odupitan’s mobile phone revealed a number of images of knives he had viewed on the internet, further photographs of knives sent to him by friends, as well as text message exchanges about knives.
Officers also discovered a video of him driving a car whilst holding a knife.
In addition, they found images of designer bags he had searched for and been pictured with.
And within hours of the murder, he was being sent images of the crime scene and carrying out internet searches about post mortems.
In addition to Tyler’s murder, Odupitan was also convicted of four robberies which he pleaded guilty to at an earlier hearing.
Tyler’s mother, Cecilia Smith, said: “Odupitan is an evil predator and opportunist who preyed on my son for a bag. He robbed my son of his precious life. He is a danger to society and has no regard for human life.”
Detective Inspector Mel Pressley, of the Specialist Crime Command, said: “Our thoughts today are with the family and friends of Tyler, who lost him in the most tragic and needless circumstances. Nothing will ever relieve their pain, but I hope that today’s conviction goes some way to providing them with some form of comfort.
“Odupitan is an extremely dangerous and heartless individual – not only because he was capable of such brutal violence, but because he was willing to inflict it on a stranger for the sake of a material item which caught his eye and he decided he just had to have. Very sadly for Tyler, Odupitan had no care for what the consequences might be.”
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