The family of a 60-year-old Thornton Heath man beaten to death by his friend say they cannot understand why he killed him.
Nikolay Zhivkov, 44, of no fixed address, was convicted of murdering Krasimir Kartikov on Monday, 2 November following a trial at the Old Bailey.
But he left his ‘friend’ for dead and went shopping that morning – and never explained his motives.
Krasimir’s family said in a statement: “Krasimir was the nicest man you can imagine. He was kind and always eager to help others. He was liked by everyone who knew him.
“I cannot imagine what could possibly have provoked someone to murder him in this way. It breaks our heart to think about it.”
Officers were called at about 9am by a member of the public who had found Krasimir. He was pronounced dead at the scene. A post-mortem examination revealed he had died from multiple injuries, including several skull fractures and a broken nose.
Initial enquiries at the scene established neighbours had heard a loud voices and banging inside Krasimir’s flat in the early hours of Sunday, 12 January.
Several witnesses also reported seeing a man regularly visit the property – he was later identified as Zhivkov.
Officers began an urgent search to locate him which involved analysing telephone data which linked him to the address at the time of the attack.
CCTV showed Zhivkov had boarded a bus at West Croydon Bus Station later on Sunday morning.
He was traced to an address in Southall and arrested on the evening of Thursday, 16 January and charged with murder.
During interview he refused to give any explanation for the attack and denied any involvement.
Detective Chief Inspector Helen Rance, of the Specialist Crime Command, said:“This was a brutal and horrific attack on Krasimir by someone he knew and had allowed into his home.
“Throughout this process Zhivkov failed to take any responsibility for his actions. Now he has no choice but to face up to what he did to a man who cared for him and called him his friend.
“I would like to praise the witnesses who were able to help identify Zhivkov as being at the location on the same day as the attack – and my team of detectives who worked around the clock to ensure justice for Krasimir’s family.
“While we many never know the reasons for Krasimir’s death, we hope they get some kind of closure knowing a dangerous criminal will be behind bars and unable to cause any further harm to others.”
A sentencing date is yet to be confirmed.
Video of the killer shopping the morning after the murder: http://news.met.police.uk/videos/cctv-of-nikolay-after-the-attack-109852
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