CCTV image shows killer seconds before murdering homeless man
Seconds from murder: Chilling CCTV image shows flip-flop-wearing killer holding concrete slab he used to bludgeon to death a homeless man as he’s jailed for at least 25 years
- Sergio Lemori, 33, dropped a stone slab on homeless victim’s head four times
- Passer-by discovered injured Andrew O’Connell in Brighton following morning
- The 54-year-old from Chatham in Kent died from his injuries at the hospital
- Today Lemori was jailed for life at Lewes Crown Court after admitting murder
Sergio Lemori (pictured) dropped a stone slab onto his victim’s head and has today been jailed for life over the murder
A murderer who killed a rough sleeper by dropping a stone slab on his head while he slept has today been jailed for life.
Jobless Sergio Lemori was captured on CCTV as he attacked sleeping Andrew O’Connell in Brighton’s Royal Pavilion Gardens about 11.56pm on 7 August, 2018.
He was carrying the slab in chilling footage just before he dropped it on his victim’s head four times and fled the scene in a white T-shirt, black shorts and black flip-flops.
His 54-year-old victim from Chatham, Kent, was discovered by a passer-by at 7.10am the following morning.
He was taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, where he sadly died from his injuries at 6.28am on 10 August.
Lemori, of no fixed address, was arrested in nearby Church Street shortly before 9pm on Wednesday 8 August.
He was remanded in custody and appeared before Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Friday 10 August, charged with murder.
The 33-year-old originally denied the charge, despite being shown CCTV which clearly captured him carrying out the sickening attack in the same clothes he wore when he was arrested.
Lemori was captured in chilling CCTV footage (left) as he carried the stone slab he used to murder Andrew O’Connell (pictured, right)
He switched his plea to guilty at Lewes Crown Court on Friday 14 December after psychiatric reports found he was fit to stand trial.
At the same court he was today sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 25 years.
Detective Inspector Mark Woodall, of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, said: ‘This was a completely unprovoked attack on a vulnerable and defenceless man who was unknown to Lemori, and who was simply minding his own business as he slept rough in Brighton’s Royal Pavilion Gardens that night.
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‘The incident has caused a huge amount of distress to Mr O’Connell’s family, who are understandably bewildered as to how and why this tragic incident occurred.
‘Lemori changed his plea to guilty – having originally denied even being in the area at the time – however he has never provided an explanation as to why he carried out the attack, which of course makes it even more difficult for the victim’s family and friends to process.
‘Despite this, we are satisfied that justice has been served and one more dangerous criminal has been removed from the streets of Sussex.’
This is the stone slab that Lemori used to bludgeon Mr O’Connell to death while he was sleeping outside in Brighton
Senior Crown Prosecutor Claire Gallagher, from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: ‘The prosecution was able to put together such a strong case that the defendant pleaded guilty to murder at an early stage in the case, knowing that his DNA had been found near the scene and the murder had been captured on CCTV.
‘The defendant clearly intended to kill or at least seriously injure his victim. He came armed to the scene with a weapon, in this case a piece of paving stone, and he had obviously pre-planned his attack.
‘Perhaps the most sickening aspect to this case is that the victim was completely defenceless and vulnerable, given that he was asleep at the time he was attacked.’
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