Drug addict guilty of murdering Pinner shopkeeper

|News, Violent crime

A drug addict has been convicted of robbing and murdering a newsagent in Pinner as he sorted the weekend newspapers early in the morning.

Alex Gunn, 31, entered the shop armed with a knife, his hands and face covered and attacked father-of-two Ravi Katharkamar inside Marsh Food and Wine before making his escape around 6am on Sunday, 24 March this year.

Alex Gunn (left) and CCTV images showing him visiting the shop on two occasions (centre) prior to the day of the murder (right)
Alex Gunn (left) and CCTV images showing him visiting the shop on two occasions
(centre) prior to the day of the murder (right)

Following a trial at the Old Bailey, today [Tuesday, 8 October] Gunn was convicted of murder, four counts of burglary, three counts of theft, one count of robbery and two counts of having an article with a blade. He previously pleaded guilty to driving whilst disqualified.

Gunn had gone to Marsh Food and Wine twice before around the same time of the morning just days before the murder. He was also driving the black Astra he had stolen from one of the burglaries in the days before the murder.

Evidence from CCTV cameras showed Gunn using the car around the local area prior to the murder and to travel to the scene of the murder. He continued to use the black Astra after he had killed Mr Katharkamar.

Gunn maintained his crime spree following the murder, burgling two further homes and changing the stolen car’s number plate to another number plate he had stolen to avoid detection. He was arrested five days after the murder, on 29 March, and claimed to have bought the car he was travelling in that morning for £300. Various items linking Gunn to the offences were found in the car.

Mr Katharkamar suffered two knife wounds to his chest and died at the scene.

Devi Kharran, Senior Crown Prosecutor within the CPS London Homicide team, said: “This was a pattern of offending that escalated in March 2019 which tragically resulted in the death of an innocent family man who was working hard in his newsagent in suburban Pinner.

“Gunn targeted Mr Katharkamar, who was alone and vulnerable inside his shop. The murder was caught on CCTV, and although Gunn used every effort to conceal his identity, the police were able to use reports of local burglaries and various parts of CCTV footage to piece together his movements in the stolen car and eventually trace and arrest him.

“This case has had a real impact on the local community - particularly those who knew Ravi Katharkamar and were regular customers to his shop. I hope today’s conviction provides the family and friends of Mr Katharkamar with some degree of comfort.”

Gunn will be sentenced on Friday, 11 October.

Notes to editors

  • Alexander Gunn [DOB: 21.10.1987] is from Pinner in the London borough of Harrow
  • He was convicted of:
    • Burglary (5 March 2019)
    • Burglary (Between 11 March to 14 March 2019)
    • Theft (Between 11 March to 14 March 2019)
    • Robbery (24 March 2019)
    • Murder (24 March 2019)
    • Theft (Between 23 March to 26 March 2019)
    • Theft (Between 25 March to 28 March 2019)
    • Burglary (28 March 2019)
    • Burglary (29 March 2019)
    • Having an article with a blade or a point (29 March 2019)
    • Having an article with a blade or a point (29 March 2019)
    • Driving whilst disqualified (29 March 2019)

Further reading