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Jealous boyfriend guilty of murdering lodger in east London

|News, Violent crime

A jealous boyfriend has been convicted of murdering his lodger after accusing him of kissing his girlfriend.

Carlos Velez, 20, stabbed 26-year-old David Martinez with a kitchen knife multiple times inside the flat they shared in North Birkbeck Road, Leytonstone on 6 March last year.

Just hours before, David had messaged a cousin about Velez’s possessive behaviour, telling her he was “all crazy and was asking if I had kissed his girlfriend”. He later sent a message to his cousin stating: “I am going to try to go on Friday else I’ll end up dead.”

Today (Thursday, 25 June) Velez was convicted of murder following a trial at the Old Bailey.

In the days leading up to the murder Velez had punched a man in his 60s for looking at his girlfriend on the tube. He had also aggressively confronted a neighbour that he believed had shown an interest in her.

Shortly before the killing, Velez had slapped his girlfriend during an argument where he demanded to find out more about a conversation she had previously had with the victim in the kitchen while he had been doing his laundry. Later she was to find him stabbing David in the kitchen.

David managed to flee the flat but collapsed outside on the pavement. Paramedics were unable to save him. He had suffered a number of stab wounds to his head, thighs, shoulders, chest and hands.

Velez fled to Portsmouth to stay with friends. He was arrested early the next day by police officers who had stopped him for riding a bicycle on the hard shoulder of the M27 and realised that he was wanted for murder.

Devi Kharran, CPS Senior Crown Prosecutor, said: “This was a vicious and frenzied attack fuelled by pure jealousy and possessiveness. David Martinez was murdered inside his own home where he should have been safe. The tragedy of this case lies in the knowledge that David was aware that his life could be in danger and had plans to move out of the flat.

“The prosecution case against Carlos Velez included strong witness testimony and forensic evidence, which was able to convince the jury of his guilt.

“When interviewed by police Velez changed his story numerous times. First he claimed that he himself had been robbed of his phone at knife-point and had no knowledge of the murder. Then he went on to say he could not remember what had happened. Later he claimed to be having visions and hearing voices. At one point he even sought to blame the killing on his girlfriend.

“We are grateful for the support of witnesses who willingly travelled from abroad to give evidence in the trial despite the difficult COVID-19 circumstances.

“Velez will now spend a significant time in jail as a result of his actions. I hope this conviction gives the family and friends of David Martinez some comfort. Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.”

Velez will be sentenced tomorrow at the Old Bailey.

Notes to editors

  • Devi Kharran is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the pan-London homicide unit at CPS London North
  • Carlos Velez (DOB: 22/05/2000) is from Leytonstone in the London borough of Waltham Forest.

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