Crime International

Suspect Held Over Killing of Girlfriend, Murder of 3 Family Members

A man held on suspicion of killing his girlfriend and three members of her family had only met them days earlier.

Joshua Jerome Derriviere Jacques, 28, the boyfriend of one of the victims, Samantha Drummonds, was inside the property when police arrived at around 1.40am on Monday.

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.

Jacques had only met the family for the first time on Thursday last week and had been friends with Samantha for a while, a friend of hers said.

And Tanysha’s husband, Danny Ofori-Akuffo, said that the attacker would have been unable to leave the property because Mrs Hill locks the door before going to bed.

Giving 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.

‘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.’

A friend of Samantha said: ‘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.’

Samantha’s stepfather Danny Ofori-Akuffo, 62, said: ‘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 Monday 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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

Friend and neigbour Rudra Brahmbhatt, 17, said ‘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.

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