London: Murderer who stabbed two women in face jailed for at least 41 years

·2-min read

A man who stabbed a mother-of-two to death and tried to kill another woman 24 hours later has been jailed for at least 41 years.

James Sinclair was handed the prison sentence after being found guilty of the murder of Shadika Patel and the attempted murder of a 48-year-old woman in two unprovoked attacks in March 2020.

The 31-year-old stabbed Ms Patel seven times as she was waiting for a bus in East Ham, London, while on her way to deliver food parcels to her teenage sons ahead of the COVID lockdown.

The 40-year-old was stabbed in her face, head and shoulders during the 20-second attack and was left on the pavement.

A passerby heard her screaming and called the police.

Ms Patel was taken to Newham General Hospital but she later died from her injuries.

The following day in Islington, Sinclair struck again, stabbing a woman in her face and body.

The victim, who has not been named by police, suffered a punctured lung and needed hospital treatment but managed to survive the ordeal.

Sinclair was arrested a week later.

He was found guilty of murder and attempted murder at the Old Bailey on Tuesday and appeared at the court again on Friday to be sentenced.

He was handed life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 41 years for murder, with a concurrent life imprisonment term, with a minimum of 18 years for the attempted murder, the Metropolitan Police said.

Tackling violence against women is 'absolute priority' for the Met

Speaking after the sentencing hearing, lead investigator Detective Inspector John Marriott said: "James Sinclair's actions have devastated the lives of Shadika's friends and family and left her two teenage sons without a mother.

"It is incomprehensible why he chose to attack two lone women at night. Incidents such as this are rare and my team of detectives worked at pace to identify Sinclair before he could attack anyone else."

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He added that tackling violence against women and girls is an "absolute priority" of the Met and these "appalling crimes have no place in our society".

"Women should not have to change their behaviour and should be able to go about their business, feeling safe, any time of day or night. It's our job to ensure that happens - but officers cannot be in all places at all times," he said.

"I would urge our community, especially women, to report any suspicious or unwanted behaviour and seek help if you feel threatened."

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