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Man convicted of murdering mother-of-two in East Ham

|News, Violent crime

A man has been convicted of murdering a mother-of-two as she waited for a bus and attempting to murder another woman 24 hours later.

James Sinclair, 31, stabbed 40-year-old Shadika Patel in East Ham during the early hours of 19 March 2020 in the lead up to the first national coronavirus lockdown. 

Ms Patel had been hoping to take a food parcel to her two teenage sons. 

The attack lasted 20 seconds before Sinclair fled leaving Ms Patel fatally injured on the pavement. He had stabbed her seven times.

When police and ambulance staff arrived Ms Patel was taken to Newham General Hospital, where she died soon after. 

The next day Sinclair stabbed a second lone woman in Islington. He attacked her repeatedly with a knife to the face and upper body. This victim survived. Sinclair fled before emergency services arrived.

A police investigation led to Sinclair being arrested a week later on 26 March 2020.

Following a trial at the Old Bailey, today (Tuesday, 5 July 2022) Sinclair was convicted of one count of murder and one count of attempted murder. He did not attend his trial. 

Samantha Yelland, from the CPS, said: “These were opportunistic, unprovoked and vicious attacks on two women. James Sinclair targeted his victims leaving them both for dead in the street.

"Shadika Patel was a concerned mother who had packed a bag of food to take to her children ahead of the national lockdown. She was brutally murdered before she even got on the bus.

“The prosecution case included DNA evidence and CCTV footage, which clearly linked Sinclair to the attacks. Workers at the hostel that Sinclair had been staying at were also able to identify him from images that the police presented to them. The clothes that Sinclair had been wearing when he murdered Ms Patel were found inside his room. 

“All women should be free to walk through the streets of London without fearing violent attacks. The CPS is committed to prosecuting those who carry out violent acts against women. 

“I hope these convictions provide some sense of justice to the family and friends of Ms Patel. Our thoughts remain with them at this time.”

Sinclair will be sentenced at a later date at the same court. 

Notes to editors

  • James Sinclair (DOB: 10/06/1991) is from Poplar in the London borough of Tower Hamlets. 
  • Samantha Yelland is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the London Homicide unit in CPS London North. 

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