A killer who stabbed a 22-year-old to death over a rucksack has been jailed for life

|News, Violent crime

A killer who stabbed a 22-year-old to death over a rucksack has been jailed for life.

Shackim Purnell-Taylor, 19, stabbed Leo Marcus after trying to steal his belongings. Despite arguing self-defence, a jury at the Old Bailey found him guilty of murder and today (Wednesday 15 January 2020) he was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 22 years' imprisonment. He previously admitted robbery and possession of an offensive weapon.

Purnell-Taylor followed his victim down an alleyway off Tellson Avenue in Woolwich in the early afternoon of 10 July 2019. He grabbed Leo from behind with a knife and a struggle ensued for his rucksack. Purnell-Taylor then tried to get away on his victim’s bicycle before Leo stopped him and was attacked by the defendant with a knife.

Leo was fatally stabbed six times before Purnell-Taylor ran off. He left the rucksack on the floor, but took two phones that had fallen to the ground during the fight. Leo shouted for help and local residents found him, but he was pronounced dead later that day.

Catherine Gould, from the CPS, said: “This was a violent and fatal attack.

“Purnell-Taylor followed Leo down an alleyway in the middle of the day and attacked him while he was vulnerable and had his back to him.

“Leo was stabbed six times to steal a rucksack which was then left at the scene, demonstrating the futility of this devastating violence.

“When an acquaintance asked Purnell-Taylor why he hadn’t been able to meet her earlier that afternoon, he simply said he had ‘gotten into some madness’.

“Purnell-Taylor was arrested with an injury to his right thumb caused in the scuffle, but claimed he injured himself while cooking. He caused the family of Leo Marcus the pain of listening to the case in court where he argued he acted in self-defence. The jury saw through these lies by the strong evidence used in this prosecution, including the irrefutable CCTV evidence.

“No family should have to go through the pain that Leo’s family have suffered since July of last year. Purnell-Taylor now has to face the consequences of his actions. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Leo Marcus.”

Notes to editors

  • Shackim Purnell-Taylor (DOB: 02/05/2000) is from the London Borough of Woolwich
  • Catherine Gould is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for the homicide team in CPS London North.

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