Hotel worker stabbed man through heart, court hears

Soloman Sarfo was stabbed

Soloman Sarfo was stabbed

First published in News

A hotel worker stabbed a man through the heart and left him for dead in the street, a court heard.

James Rickerby, 26, Rickerby, of Balham High Road, is said to have attacked 34 year-old Solomon Sarfo with a knife which had a blade of at least 10cm.

Residents in Tilson Gardens, Streatham Hill, heard the victim scream “help me, help me I'm being robbed” as his killer stood over him, the Old Bailey was told on Tuesday.

He told the knifeman: “Come on then, you've stabbed me, so come on then, let's have it.”

As the attacker fled, Mr Sarfo tried to give chase but collapsed on the ground.

He had suffered a single knife wound to the chest which had gone completely through his heart and in to his liver, jurors were told.

He died at the scene, despite desperate efforts by the emergency services to save his life.

Prosecutor Neil Moore said Mr Sarfo had left his girlfriend at his flat in Prendergast House, Kings Avenue, Clapham, at 10.50pm on February 27 last year.

He said: “He told his girlfriend he would only be a minute or two, but unfortunately he never returned.”

Some 40 minutes later, at 11.30pm, he was seen in an altercation with another man, by a brother and sister who lived nearby.

They made a 999 call at 11.35pm and he died shortly after midnight.

Mr Sarfo worked part-time in a garage and made money exporting items to his native Ghana.

But jurors heard that when police searched his body they found three one-ounce wraps of crack cocaine - worth around £5,000.

Mr Moore said: “It may well be that drugs are something to do with the reason why he was killed.

“There will be no issue that he was stabbed and whoever stabbed him is guilty of murder.

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“The issue in this case is who was the killer?

“The prosecution say it was this defendant and you can be sure about it.”

The court heard Rickerby, who worked at the Park Lane Hilton hotel, was “no stranger to drugs”.

Rickerby, who lived with his partner and their child in nearby Balham and also has links to the Brixton area through his mother, denies murder.

The trial continues.

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