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Holiday Inn worker murdered for his Gucci bag in Croydon

|News, Violent crime

A violent robber who stabbed a hotel concierge worker for his second-hand Gucci bag has been convicted of murder.

Samuel Odupitan, 24, followed Tyler Roye off a tram in Woodside, Croydon, before robbing him and fatally stabbing him six times.

Today (Tuesday, 1 December 2020) at Croydon Crown Court, Odupitan was found guilty of murder. He had previously pleaded guilty to four counts of robbery that preceded the murder and will be sentenced on Monday, 7 December.

Mr Roye had just finished a late shift at the Holiday Inn in Stratford and was on his way home when he was attacked just after midnight on 26 February this year.

The 24-year-old victim had just picked up a phone call from his girlfriend when Odupitan confronted him and demanded his possessions.

After a struggle, Odupitan fled with the Gucci bag. Mr Rowe managed to stumble a few steps away to a schoolfriend’s house before collapsing inside. Paramedics were called and he was taken to hospital but died shortly before 3am.

Police arrested Odupitan at his home address on 1 March having identified him as a person of interest through CCTV.

The distinctive jacket and the hoodie he was seen to be wearing at the time were not found, but his mobile phone contained a number of photos of him wearing the same outfit.

Further analysis of his phone also found numerous images of knives, messages about them that he had been sent by his friends, as well as a video of him driving around in a car armed with a knife. In addition he appeared to have an interest in bags as police found pictures of bags and photographs of Odupitan holding or wearing different bags on the device too. 

Devi Kharran, Senior Crown Prosecutor at the CPS, said: “This was an opportunistic and unprovoked attack on a hardworking young man who was on his way home from work.

“Using the incriminating evidence found on the defendant’s own phone and CCTV footage, the prosecution was able to prove Odupitan murdered Tyler Roye in cold blood for the sake of a designer bag.

“From the moment Odupitan spotted his victim on a tram wearing a bag that he liked - he pursued him.

“Mr Roye could not have known what would happen on a journey that he so often took. But he lost his life simply because he had the fatal misfortune of encountering a violent robber on his way home.

“I hope this conviction goes some way in comforting the family and friends of Mr Roye. Our thoughts remain with them at this time.”

Notes to editors

  • Samuel Odupitan (DOB: 29/11/1996) is from Croydon.

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