Three victims of Bermondsey family ‘murders’ lay dead together in the kitchen, court hears

·2-min read
Three victims of Bermondsey family ‘murders’ lay dead together in the kitchen, court hears

Four members of the same family who were allegedly murdered at a home in southeast London lay dead together in the kitchen and hall when police arrived, the Old Bailey heard.

Dolet Hill, Denton Burke, Tanysha Ofori-Akuffo and Samantha Drummonds had all been stabbed when police officers forced their way into the three-bedroom home in Delaford Road, Bermondsey, at around 1.40am on April 25, it is said.

Joshua Jacques, 28, has been charged with murdering all four, and is currently being held at maximum security HMP Belmarsh while awaiting trial.

The Old Bailey heard he was found naked in the bathroom by police, prior to his arrest.

Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow QC said on Tuesday morning: “Police were alerted to the possible sound of a disturbance at a residential property at Delaford Road in the early hours of the morning of April 25.

“When the police arrived and forced entry to the property, they discovered the lifeless bodies of four victims inside the address.

Tanysha Ofori-Akuffo (Metropolitan Police/PA) (PA Media)
Tanysha Ofori-Akuffo (Metropolitan Police/PA) (PA Media)

“Denton Burke, 58, was at the foot of the stairs near to the front door. Dolet Hill, 64, their daughter Tanysha Ofori-Akuffo, 45, and granddaughter Samantha Drummonds, 27, were all in the kitchen.”

Mr Glasgow said they all had “wounds inflicted by a knife or knives”.

Jacques, from Catford, was remanded in custody by Judge Mark Lucraft QC, the Recorder of London, this morning.

He ordered the defendant to appear for a plea hearing on July 19, and no date was set for a trial.

Jacques, flanked by two guards over a videolink from prison, spoke to confirm his identity. He asked for a glass of water before the hearing began, but was told it is “not allowed”.

At his first court hearing last week, Jacques gave a salute to his aunt in the public gallery and banged his chest twice as he was led away to the cells.

Mrs Hill had worked as a housekeeper at Guy’s Hospital and had just had surgery for cancer, while her husband Mr Burke had been a council worker.

Police officers in forensic suits enter a house in Bermondsey, south-east London (PA) (PA Wire)
Police officers in forensic suits enter a house in Bermondsey, south-east London (PA) (PA Wire)

After news of the stabbings broke, a friend and neighbour of Samantha Drummonds described her as "the loveliest girl you could ever meet."

She added: "Myself and my family are heartbroken. She was beautiful in every way."

Mrs Hill’s niece Venecia Reid said of her aunt, who was originally from Jamaica: "She was a good, churchgoing person. She had worked for a hospital and had just had a cancer operation. She was a wonderful person, I can’t believe she has gone. She worked so hard for her family. She didn’t deserve this."

Meanwhile Tanysha’s partner Danny Ofori-Akuffo described the 45-year-old as "a lovely lady" and said her death had left a "hole in my heart."

Jacques has not yet entered any pleas to the four murder charges.

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