Bermondsey murder suspect 'only met three of the dead days before'

Man held ‘for stabbing his girlfriend to death and also murdering three of her family at their home in Bermondsey had only met them a few days before’

  • Dolet Hill was one of four people found dead at a house in Bermondsey, South East London yesterday morning
  • She died with partner Denton Burke, daughter Tanysha Drummonds, granddaughter Samantha Drummonds
  • Joshua Jerome Derriviere Jacques, 28, boyfriend of Samantha Drummonds arrested on suspicion of murder
  • Jacques had only met Samantha’s family days before according to a friend of the former bank manager 
  • Met Police detectives were called at 1.40am, forced entry and found four people with fatal stab injuries 
  • Local resident said that at around 1.30am they heard a woman ‘screaming for about five minutes’ 

A man held on suspicion of killing his girlfriend and three members of her family had only met them day ago, it has emerged.

Joshua Jerome Derriviere Jacques, 28, the boyfriend of one of the victims, Samantha Drummonds, was inside the property when police arrived.

He was tasered by officers who found the bodies of Samantha, 29, her mother Tanysha Drummonds, 45, grandmother Dolet Hill, 64 and Dolet’s partner Denton Burke, 59.

A friend of Samantha told the Sun: ‘He only met the family for the first time on Thursday last week.

‘They’d been friends for a long time but things changed and Samantha decided to introduce him.’

Joshua Jerome Derriviere Jacques, 28, the boyfriend of one of the victims, Samantha Drummonds, was inside the property when police arrived

Samantha’s stepdad Danny Ofori-Akuffo, 62, told the Sun: ‘I don’t know how I’ll live without them.’

Despite the best efforts of paramedics all four were pronounced dead at the scene in Bermondsey, south London, during the early hours of yesterday morning.

Jacques is being treated in nearby Lewisham Hospital and will be questioned by detectives. The suspected knifeman was locked inside Dolet and Denton’s three-bedroom home shortly before they died, it was revealed today.

Neighbours heard the terrifying screams of the victims and called the police who smashed down the door to find a bloodbath, with bodies lying on the floor – and Tasered the knifeman as he tried to escape.

Tanysha’s husband, Danny Ofori-Akuffo, gave the first full account of what happened inside the property.

Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, he said: ‘Neighbours heard screaming and called the police who forced entry when they arrived and found him. He tried to run but was Tasered.

‘One of the bodies was found lying just behind the front door. I don’t know who it was.

‘Dolet locks the door before she goes to bed and takes the key up with her every night so the attacker was unable to escape the house.

Dolet Hill (in the multi-coloured dress), her daughter Tanysha Drummonds (with her arm around her) and her other daughter Tracey Henry (pictured in a white dress)

Grandmother Dolet Hill, 64, her daughter Tanysha Drummonds, her granddaughter Samantha Drummonds (pictured), and her partner Denton Burke, were stabbed to death in South East London

Dolet Hill and Denton Burke were both killed. The suspected knifeman was locked inside Dolet and Denton’s three-bedroom home when he carried out the massacre

‘Tanysha stayed with Dolet because she was being treated for cancer. I tried calling her a few times on Sunday night but she didn’t pick up.

‘She eventually answered at 11.30pm and said she’d dozed off on the sofa but was now heading up to bed. Those were the last words I had with her.’

Mr Ofori-Akuffo said Samantha, who was staying with Dolet while her flat was redecorated, brought Jacques to Dolet’s home on Saturday.

Tanysha’s husband, Danny Ofori-Akuffo, gave the first full account of what happened inside the property, speaking to MailOnline

One of her friends had called her on the phone and heard a man shouting ‘I want to go home’ in the background. When asked who it was, she replied ‘it’s just my boyfriend.

Mr Ofori-Akuffo added: ‘I’ve never met him. And most of the family know nothing about him. All we know is that he was Samantha’s boyfriend, but how long they’d been together, I don’t know. Not long I think but I’m sure he lived near to her.’

He said that two police officers knocked on his door at around 8am yesterday asking him if he had seen Samantha.

He said: ‘I gave the officers my wife’s number and told them to call her because she would know before ringing Tanysha myself to warn her that the police were getting in touch but I couldn’t get through.

‘I then rang her number several times, called Dolet and then Denton but nothing. Eventually I phoned Tanysha’s sister, Tracey, and she did the same but couldn’t get through.

‘Someone had told her that they’d seen on the news that three woman and a man had been stabbed to death in Bermondsey so she went to the house to check if everything was ok.

‘Of course when she arrived she found the street taped off and police everywhere. She spoke to officers at the scene, who took her to Lewisham Police Station.

‘She called me about 10am and asked me to meet her there. When I got there, I was called in to speak to some officers and they told me the awful truth of what happened.

‘I still cannot believe it. It hasn’t sunk in. We are such a close family, we are always together. We all look out for one another.

‘I’ve lost something very special. Their deaths have left a hole that will not be filled until I see them all in heaven.’

It comes as it emerged the knifeman who slew the three generations of the same ‘amazing’ family was Tasered by armed police, who arrived within five minutes after horrifying screams began echoing around the property and into the street. 

The suspect, who is in his twenties, knew the four murder victims including recently retired NHS nurse Ms Hill, 64, a matriarch who was ‘winning her fight against cancer’ and dedicated herself to charity work and her Christian faith.

Forensics at the home of Dolet Hill in Bermondsey, south London where four people were killed early on Monday

Friends leave flowers near the property in Southwark where four people where stabbed and killed in South Bermondsey

A neighbour told The Times of Ms Hill and Mr Burke: ‘They were amazing people. They never had problems in the house — I’ve been living here for years. They never had any issues. She did lots of charity. I believe she was a nurse or a carer.

‘She was fighting cancer, she was doing her treatment. She was super happy because she was winning her battle. They were religious but she’s been very sick so I don’t know how active they were’.

Scotland Yard detectives are continuing to quiz the suspect the four people stabbed to death at the family’s £600,000 home just yards from the Millwall FC stadium.

A friend of Tracey Henry, her other daughter, said: ‘Tracey is absolutely devastated right now, she can’t talk to anyone. She’s lost four members of her family. Why it happened we just don’t know. It’s a really bad time for us all.’

A relative of Dolet previously confirmed she was one of four people found dead at a terraced house in Bermondsey in the early hours of yesterday morning. Dolet was a local NHS hospital worker and was undergoing treatment for cancer, MailOnline revealed yesterday. 

Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust paid tribute to Dolet Hill, who was an active trade union member.

Alastair Gourlay, director of estates and facilities, said: ‘We are devastated to hear about the tragic death of Dolet Hill, who worked as a housekeeping assistant in our pharmacy department for more than 21 years, before her retirement in 2018.

‘Dolet was a well-respected colleague, who also helped to improve the workplace for others as an active UNISON representative. Our thoughts are with Dolet’s family, friends and all who worked with her.’

Samantha Drummonds had gone to spend a week away from her flat as it was being renovated and redecorated. She was spending time with her mother, grandmother and other relatives in Southwark.

Police arrived at her third floor flat five miles away in Forest Hill yesterday morning and were inside the property until at least 4pm this afternoon.

A relative of Dolet (pictured) confirmed that she was one of four people found dead at a house in Bermondsey

Friend and neigbour Rudra Brahmbhatt, 17, told MailOnline: ‘Samantha is having some work done to her flat and is having the bathroom and hallway redecorated.

‘She didn’t want to stay in the flat while the work was being done so the last thing she said to me was ‘I’m going away for a week, I’ll see when I’m back’. She took her cat and left.

‘I thought nothing of it until when the police turned up. It was about 7am.

‘A few of the officers knocked on our door and asked if we knew where Samantha was and if we had any contact details for her.

‘I gave them her number and then rang the number myself – a few times – but there has been no answer.

‘She has been living in the block for about five-years. She used to work at NatWest Bank I think. She’s really friendly.

‘I know that she used to go and stay with her dad and auntie in Southwark quite a bit. But I don’t know much about her family.’

Another neighbour added: ‘The police knocked round and asked if I’d heard from Samantha over the last 24-hours or so. They told me that there had been a concern for her welfare made by someone in Southwark, which is where I know she has family.

‘The last time I spoke to her was a few days ago when I called her and we spoke about what work she was having done at her flat.

‘It’s terrible that she may have been caught up in it. She is really popular in the block because she is someone who always stops to talk to you and ask how things are.’

Detective Chief Inspector Linda Bradley, who leads the investigation, said: ‘This was a truly horrific incident and I fully recognise that the distress for the family and the community will be overwhelming. 

‘We are conducting a thorough and detailed investigation into the facts and we are appealing to anyone who can assist with any information to come forward. 

‘If you know anything or saw anything that you think might help us piece together the events which led to this, then do not hesitate, please call police. You can also call Crimestoppers if you do not want to give your name.

‘We deeply appreciate all the help we have already received from local people and I would like to thank them for their patience and support in what is likely to be a protracted inquiry. 

‘We are moving as fast we can at the scene, but we need to ensure we uncover all the facts and secure every bit of necessary evidence and this may understandably take some time. 

‘We are aware that we have family, friends and a community that are all asking questions, we are determined to give them the answers they deserve as soon as possible.’

Meanwhile a friend who has known Dolet for 23-years told how she was a dedicated churchgoer who helped poor children in Africa.

She said: ‘It’s awful, I’m still in shock. Dolet and her family were such nice people. Dolet used to go on charity missions to Ghana and give children who’d lost their parents clothing, food and toys.

‘She was a keen churchgoer and would help anyone who needed it.’

Her niece said Ms Hill had two daughters and two grandchildren, while locals said she worked as a housekeeper at the nearby Guy’s Hospital in Southwark.

One neighbour said: ‘She was a lovely lady, she worked at Guy’s Hospital as a housekeeper. She was also having treatment for cancer. I can’t believe this has happened.

‘I live close to her and didn’t hear a thing until I saw all the police outside her house. I know she has two daughters. My heart goes out to her family. It’s such an awful, awful thing to happen.’

Another added: ‘My friend knew Dolet as she used to work with her at Guy’s Hospital. She was originally from Jamaica but had been living there a while. 

‘I couldn’t see what happened but from my house I could see that the police and paramedics had taken at least two of the victims into the street and were working on them for some time.’

Ms Hill’s niece Venecia Reid paid tribute and said she ‘didn’t deserve this’, telling reporters near the scene: ‘She was very loving, very kind, very generous. She worked very hard in this country to support her two girls and her two grandkids. She does not deserve this.

Dolet Hill (pictured) was discovered alongside two adult female relatives. She had two daughters and two grandchildren

Forensic tents on the scene on Delaford Road in Bermondsey, South East London, after the alleged murders

Detectives are investigating the deaths of four people in on Delaford Road in Bermondsey, South East London

Forensic officers are seen entering a home yesterday at the scene where three women and a man were found stabbed to death

Parts of the London skyline are seen in the background as police and forensic officers investigate in Bermondsey

Police officers in forensic suits enter a house in Bermondsey after three women and a man were stabbed to death

Metropolitan Police officers with a dog outside a house in Bermondsey, South East London, following the incident

Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove said that the other three victims were believed to include a man in his mid-60s, along with one woman in her 40s and another in her 30s. 

Other neighbours revealed how they heard chilling screams before armed police swooped on the home and made the grim discovery. Detectives were called at about 1.40am to reports of a disturbance at the property, before forcing entry inside and discovering four people with stab injuries.

How Sadiq Khan’s own data shows violent crime is on the rise in London 

Violent crime is on the rise under Sadiq Khan in London, according to official figures released by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime in January.

This revealed there were 233,965 offences of ‘violence against the person’ recorded by the Metropolitan Police in 2021 – up 6.1 per cent or 13,358 from 220,607 in 2020.

This catch-all term includes a range of offences from minor offences such as harassment and common assault, to serious offences such as murder and GBH.

Theft on a person was up 20.6 per cent – a rise of 2,067, from 25,574 to 27,641; while motor vehicle theft was also up from 25,574 to 27,641, a rise of 2,067 or 8.1 per cent.

But knife crime itself dropped in 2021 compared to 2020 – down from 11,852 to 10,623, which was a fall of 1,229 or 10.4 per cent; while gun crime was down from 1,719 to 1,358, which was a drop of 361 or 20.6 per cent.

The data also revealed that, when split by borough, Westminster had the highest levels of violent crime with 50,962 offences, followed by Newham on 34,081.

Mr Khan was elected in May 2016, and his office said that since then knife crime with injury is down by 12 per cent, gun crime is down by 29 per cent and burglary has fallen by 22 per cent. But a spokesman admitted there was ‘still a long way to go’ and that ‘keeping people safe in London remains the mayor’s number one priority’

A man in his late 20s was arrested on suspicion of murder and taken to a police station where he remains in custody. Specialist crime police are investigating, and said they believe all five people were known to each other. 

One resident heard a woman ‘screaming for about five minutes’, adding: ‘It was awful. I thought it was someone was holding someone hostage or something but when I heard the police, the helicopter, the ambulances, I knew it was really serious. I saw about eight or nine police cars – all were armed – come out and surround the area.’

Police put up a large cordon including metal grates around Delaford Road while their investigation continued on the street. Four forensic tents were put up outside the £600,000 house in the London Borough of Southwark.

Another neighbour said: ‘I saw a load of police jump out of their cars with guns. There were about eight police cars, several ambulances, and some of them were going door to door.  

‘They came to the back garden to make sure our door was secure. It was about 2am. We didn’t hear anything else – we were just told to stay inside. My husband said he swore he heard screaming, shouts, some commotion.’

It comes as London Mayor Sadiq Khan continues to face questions over crime rates in the capital, with boxer Amir Khan saying last week that he should ‘pull his finger out’ after he was mugged of his £72,000 watch in Leyton.  

Scotland Yard opened 79 murder investigations last year involving stabbings, with 27 of these being teenagers. 

Anne Birkett, 60, a nearby resident in Bermondsey, said: ‘I was woken up about 1.45am where I saw loads of flashing lights, loads of police cars, and a helicopter. My husband wanted to go out there and see what’s happening but I said allow the police to do their jobs. 

‘I didn’t know the family, you say hello and afternoon but I didn’t know them. It’s devastating. There are two primary schools in the area. Many people around here have young children and everyone is scared.’

Ms Birkett, whose back bedroom looks on to the property where the victims were found, also told the PA news agency: ‘It’s devastating – you hear all of this but you never assume it’s going to be right on your own doorstep.

‘I’m a foster carer and I’ve got children in my care, and now I’ve got to protect them now because of what’s happened.’

Another neighbour said: ‘I woke up because I could hear the helicopter – I had no idea what it was at first. It’s crazy that something like that would have happened here.’

A further local resident who lives two doors down from the home where the incident happened said she saw ambulances take the victims away in the early hours.

‘I saw the bodies come out,’ the elderly woman, who did not want to be named, told the PA news agency.

Like other local residents, she said she was woken in the night by police sirens and the sound of a helicopter.

The woman, who lives on the corner of Delaford Road and Bramcote Grove, said she knew ‘him and her’.

Armed police are said to have gone from house to house nearby in order to make sure neighbours were safe.

Despite the efforts of emergency services, all four people were pronounced dead at the scene and officers are now in the process of contacting next of kin. Post-mortem examinations will be arranged in due course.

Delaford Road is located in the SE16 postcode area next to South Bermondsey train station and is also close to Millwall FC’s ground The New Den.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted: ‘I am heartbroken that three women and a man were killed in a devastating incident at an address in Southwark. My thoughts are with the family and friends who have lost loved ones in this awful crime.

‘I am in contact with the leadership of the Metropolitan Police. An investigation is underway and one man has been arrested. I urge anyone who has information that could be relevant to contact the police immediately.’

Michael Situ, a Labour councillor on Southwark Council, said: ‘Thoughts with family of victims of murder on Delaford Road, SE16. If anyone has any information about incident, do contact @MPSSouthwark urgently.’ 

Several forensics officers were seen entering the fenced-off section of Delaford Road.

Violent crime is on the rise under Sadiq Khan in London, according to official figures released by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime in January. This revealed there were 233,965 offences of ‘violence against the person’ recorded in 2021

Local MP Harriet Harman described the killings as a ‘terrible tragedy’ as she visited the scene in Bermondsey

Police in forensic suits enter a house in Bermondsey, South East London, after three women and a man where stabbed

Three women and a man where stabbed to death in the early hours of yesterday and were found at the property in Bermondsey

Forensics enter the property in Bermondsey after four people were found with apparent stab wounds

Police forensic tents outside a house in Bermondsey, South East London, after the incident overnight

Police officers in forensic suits enter a house in Bermondsey after three women and a man were stabbed to death

A resident of the adjacent road, Bramcote Grove, who did not want to be named, said he was woken at around 2am by police sirens and a helicopter and was kept up until 6am by the commotion.

‘When I saw four ambulances – not one, not two, but four – I knew it was serious,’ he said.

The Metropolitan Police said officers were called to reports of a disturbance at around 1.40am, and when they forced entry to the house they found four people with fatal stab injuries. 

A London Ambulance Service spokesman said: ‘We were called at 2.07am to reports of an incident on Delaford Road, Bermondsey.

‘We sent three ambulance crews, two fast response units, two incident response officers, two advanced paramedics and a team leader to the scene.

Police outside a house in Bermondsey, South East London, after three women and a man were stabbed to death

Police forensic tents outside a house in Bermondsey after three women and a man were stabbed to death

Police forensic tents outside a house in Bermondsey following the incident which happened in the early hours of yesterday

Police officers in forensic suits enter a house in Bermondsey after three women and a man were stabbed to death

Inside the property in Bermondsey, detectives found four people suffering what are believed to be stab injuries

‘Our team worked closely with colleagues from other emergency services. Sadly, despite the best efforts of our medics, four patients died at the scene.’

Local MP Harriet Harman described the killings as a ‘terrible tragedy’, telling reporters at the scene: ‘Tragically, four people have been killed and that is shocking to happen anywhere but especially in this very peaceful, quiet, very settled community here.

‘The police have arrested someone but it’s really important still that people give information – any information they’ve got – to the police so that whoever committed this horrific crime can be brought to justice.

‘It’s a terrible tragedy and our thoughts are with the family and friends of those who’ve tragically had their lives cut short.’

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