A man who pretended to be the nephew of a vulnerable man and used him for cash has been found guilty of his murder.
Mohammed Assri, 47, of no fixed abode, was found guilty of the murder of James Dowdell in West Brompton.
In February earlier this year, emergency services found James with head injuries and he was pronounced dead at the scene after Assri made a frantic call to police that he had found James dead in an address in St Mark’s Grove.
Assri was arrested and was found in possession of James’s personal items including his bank card and a large sum of blood stained cash. He claimed that his name was Adam and that James was his uncle.
After moving into the flat Assri became controlling and excluded James’s carers. He took over his finances, including using his Halifax debit card regularly, and pawned a valuable watch-strap belonging to James.
Assri claimed he had been at his sister’s house just before returning to find James but CCTV cameras placed him near his sister’s house 12 hours earlier.
A post-mortem revealed bruising on James’s wrists and marks to his hand suggesting that he had tried to defend himself from the fatal attack. The examination gave cause of death as blunt force trauma and compression of the neck.
The court heard Assri insist that James’s injuries were sustained by falling and were self-inflicted. This was disproved by pathologists and medical evidence.
Assri will be sentenced on November 20.
Detective inspector Maria Green from Specialist Crime said: “I would like to thank the witnesses who spoke in court for their courage in giving evidence.
“Assri is a violent and manipulative man who has taken no responsibility for his actions, using his appearance at court as an attempt to dishonour the memory and life of James. I hope that James’s family and friends can draw some strength from seeing justice done.”
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