Man given life sentence for Morden Ladbrokes murder


Shafique Ahmad Aarij, 21, was sentenced today at Southwark Crown Court to life with a minimum of 26 years for the murder of Andrew Iacovou on 25 May 2013.

Jenny Hopkins, CPS London Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor, said: "This was an extremely violent and cold-blooded murder carried out purely for financial gain.

"Mr Iacovou's life was cruelly taken away in order to steal less than £300.

"Mr Iacovou was working as duty manager in the Morden branch of Ladbrokes betting shop on 25 May when he was viciously attacked by Aarij who was armed with a knife and a hammer.

"Aarij pretended that there was a problem with one of the betting machines, a trick he had practised the day before, in order to get Mr Iacovou to open the secure area to investigate.

"However, as soon as Mr Iacovou unlocked the area Aarij forced his way in and delivered several hammer blows to the head before stealing the money from the till and calmly leaving the scene.

"Aarij admitted killing Mr Iacovou but refused to take full responsibility for his actions, claiming diminished responsibility.

"The prosecution did not accept this defence, our case was that Aarij's actions amounted to murder and the jury agreed.

"I hope that the sentence given today provides some comfort to Mr Iacovou's family. Our thoughts are with them at this time."