By John Ensor • 22 May 2023 • 22:47
Credit: Essex Police.
Following an investigation by specialist detectives, a man has been found guilty of a brutal murder which happened in the middle of the afternoon in a busy shopping centre.
On Monday, May 22, at 4:37 pm, Essex Police, released details of the final moments of Michael Ugwa, 29, who was murdered by 23-year-old Muhammad Khan last year.
The Police statement also included a link to video footage which shows the final shocking moments leading up to a brutal stabbing, as shoppers and workers at the Lakeside Shopping Centre in Thurrock, Essex, went about their daily business.
The incident took place at around 4:30 pm as Michael and two friends visited the shopping mall, the trio passed Khan and his two associates, Brandon Lutchmunsing, 20, and 21-year-old Shannon Weston.
Words were exchanged which led to a confrontation between Ugwa and Khan, who was armed with a flick knife. Ugwa’s friends were chased away, leaving him alone with nowhere to escape.
The statement said that in an act of self-defence, ‘Michael picked up a chair from the seating area but dropped it as Lutchmunsing threw another chair at him.
‘Khan, approaching Michael from his left-hand side, then lunged at him with the knife, stabbing him under the arm, through his ribs and puncturing his heart.’
The statement continued: ‘Meanwhile, Michael made his way to the top of the escalators at the entrance to the food court where he collapsed.’
Emergency services were called but despite their best efforts, Michael Ugwa died from his injuries.
The suspects then made a hasty exit, but the whole sequence of events was captured on some of the shopping centre’s 362 CCTV cameras.
The report concludes: ‘On 2 May Lutchmunsing, of Grafton Road, Dagenham, was arrested on suspicion of murder and Weston, of Paddocks Close, Canewdon was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.
‘Two days later Khan, of no fixed address, Ilford, was also arrested on suspicion of murder.
‘They all appeared at Basildon Crown Court today following a trial [Monday, May 22]. Khan was found guilty of murder and affray. Lutchmunsing was found guilty of manslaughter and affray.’ Both men await sentencing.
Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Julie Gowen said: ‘The fact of the matter is you do not go out with a knife if you do not have some intent on using it.’
‘And if Khan had not had that knife, we would not be here today. He would not be facing a life sentence, Michael’s children would not be growing up without their father, and his family would not be grieving the loss of a much-loved fiancé, son, brother, uncle, and cousin.’
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.
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