Couple who hid dead body in attic jailed
A heroin addict who murdered a man and hid the body in the attic has today been jailed for life and ordered to serve at least 22 years behind bars.
Gary Hopkins, 37, murdered Abdi Ali, 17, with a hammer and kitchen knife a few days before Christmas in 2017.
Hopkins’ partner Stacey Docherty, 28, was jailed for 27 months after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice by helping him hide the body for eight months.
Hopkins pleaded guilty to the same offence and to preventing the lawful burial of a body before their trial began at the end of February at the Old Bailey.
Angela Moriarty, from the CPS, said: “This was a callous crime where the defendants showed no remorse. Abdi’s family were kept in the dark for eight months while his body was hidden in the attic.
“Gary Hopkins has never taken responsibility for the brutal killing and blamed a visitor he said had been to the flat on the day of the murder. The jury rejected his claims after hearing the prosecution evidence and Docherty later pleaded guilty to her part in covering up his crime.
“This has been a traumatic time for Abdi’s family and I hope that the convictions bring some small comfort that justice has been served.”
After the killing in the flat which the couple shared with their three children in Enfield, north London, they wrapped Abdi Ali’s body and hid it, along with the weapons, in the attic.
The pathologist found evidence of at least three impacts to the top of the head, consistent with those from a round object such as a hammer, and stab wounds to the left chest.
Their secret was discovered when the couple confessed to friends while high on drugs. Hopkins revealed he had murdered someone and the body was in the loft. He offered to show the friends saying: “See, I don’t talk bulls***. There is a dead person”.
CPS London North which prosecuted the case said Hopkins committed the murder for financial gain.
The offences came to light in August 2018 when the police were informed of the couple’s revelation.
Notes to editors
- Gary Hopkins (DOB: 19/10/1981) was found guilty of murder at the trial on 28 March 2019. Before the trial he had pleaded guilty to perverting the course of public justice and preventing the lawful and decent burial of a dead body.
- Stacy Docherty (DOB: 09/08/1990) was found not guilty of murder and the jury was hung on one count of perverting the course of justice and one of preventing a lawful burial. The CPS sought a retrial but Docherty pleaded guilty at a preliminary hearing on 31 May to perverting the course of justice. The Crown did not seek a further trial on the remaining count of preventing a lawful burial.
- Angela Moriarty is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for the London CPS Homicide team.