Date: 22 Jan 2000
Martin Lavelle died 11 days after being mugged in Meyrick Street.
He was found in the street with head injuries on 4 January 2000 between 11pm and 11.30pm and then taken home by a friend who left him there after telling him that he was fine. He had been attacked at the junction of Willesden High Road and Meyrick Road.
He had been drinking at a local pub, Tony's Bar, close to his home and left at about 11pm and was going home at the time he was attacked.
The friend that found him said that he also saw a man crouching nearby. The friend said that he assumed that the man crouching had robbed Martin Lavelle and he challenged him and said that the man then ran off.
The man that was seen to run off was described as being 5ft 10in tall, with a slim build and with short dark curly/wavy hair. He was said to have had a foreign accent and to have been wearing a beige coat.
Another witness had seen three men in Willesden High Road near the junction with Meyrick Road around that time and the police said that they were interested in identifying them.
The friend said that Martin Lavelle told him that he was fine and so he helped him home and left him there in the hallway to his bedsit. However, two days later his friends broke into his home and found him lying there seriously ill and he was taken to hospital.
The police said that they think that he had been robbed but that the person that had robbed him had not meant to kill him. They said that they thought there were about five or six people who knew what had happened who had not come forward.
There was significant controversy following his treatment after he was taken to the Central Middlesex Hospital. He had been taken to the Central Middlesex Hospital on 6 January 2000 but there were no intensive care beds available there and it wasn't until 17 January 2000 that he was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford for emergency treatment where they had an intensive-care bed, even though he had had severe head injuries when he had arrived in London. It was also said that it was shocking that he needed to be driven 70 miles from London to Oxford for that bed.
His cause of death was given as being due to severe head injuries.
Doctors at the John Radcliffe Infirmary said that they would have been able to save his life if he had been admitted 12-hours earlier.
Martin Lavelle's family said that they had been on the phone to staff at the Central Middlesex Hospital who they said told them that Martin Lavelle had had a belt on the head, but that he would be fine.
Martin Lavelle was Irish and was from Cabaun, Achill Island in Co Mayo and was a steel fitter.