Unsolved Murders

Babatunde Akintayo Awofeso

Age: 53

Sex: male

Date: 4 Apr 2018

Place: Betfred, Upper Clapton Road, Hackney

Babatunde Akintayo Awofeso died after being punched in Betfred betting shop on Upper Clapton Road in Hackney.

He was punched after an altercation with another man in the betting shop and died at the scene.

A 26-year-old man was arrested after the incident but the police later said that the man had 'no crime to answer' and the case closed but it was reopened for review after Babatunde Awofeso's inquest in April 2019 ruled that the attack on him had contributed to his death.

It was further claimed that the investigation into his death was compromised by the Metropolitan Police being overworked and having to pass the investigation to the City Police and other CCTV evidence being 'corrupt'.

Babatunde Awofeso was said to have had an altercation with the other man in the betting shop after which the man left. It was said that Babatunde Awofeso had approached the man after seeing him in the betting shop as he suspected him of having previously stolen his bank card. It was said that there was then an argument that turned aggressive and the man was last seen following Babatunde Awofeso down a corridor into the back of the shop and out of sight after which the man left the betting shop. Babatunde Awofeso was found shortly after unresponsive and died soon after.

The police were called to the betting shop at 4.27pm on 4 April 2018 where they found Babatunde Awofeso unconscious. The London Ambulance Service and London's Air Ambulance were both called out but Babatunde Awofeso died at the scene.

However, the police later said that the man had 'no crime to answer' and the murder case was closed in 2018 but following the inquest they said that they would review their decision not to charge the man.

It was said that Babatunde Awofeso had had a bad heart. His inquest ruled that Babatunde Awofeso died from natural causes but the Coroner said that he wanted it on record that the incident had contributed to his death.

Babatunde Awofeso's daughter said, 'The person who did this has got away with it because of lack of evidence. The fight started at the front of the shop but his body was at the back. I believe he was trying to get away from whatever situation it was'.

It was said that there was CCTV of the events which were said to have been working on the day but that the police later said that the footage was 'corrupt' and irretrievable. However, other reports from Betfred staff and the BBC suggested that the CCTV footage was good.

Babatunde Awofeso's daughter said that she thought that the reason the man was not charged was because the CCTV footage was 'corrupt'.

A report later said, 'The CCTV footage has been examined by technicians and the footage is not recoverable. There is no footage from any external cameras showing the incident'.

His daughter later said that she thought that the Metropolitan Police were 'being too stretched' which had affected the outcome of the murder investigation. His daughter said, 'I'm not looking to blame anyone, all I am looking for is answers, as the facts I have been given so far don't add up. My family liaison officer told me my dad died because of a bad heart, but the suspect admitted in his statements that he hit my dad in the chest'. She added, 'Several other statements say people in the Betfred, including staff, were drinking rum and vodka to celebrate someone coming out from prison'.

It was noted that Babatunde Awofeso's death came at a time when the Metropolitan Police had seven murder investigations open and that they needed the loan of additional murder detectives from the City of London Police to assist. The Metropolitan Police said that they often shared resources but admitted that it was the first time that a murder investigation has been passed between the forces.

However, Babatunde Awofeso's family said that the pressure of Metropolitan Police resources had an impact on the investigation into Babatunde Awofeso's death.

Babatunde Awofeso's daughter said, 'The first I became aware of the case being handed over was when I met the family liaison officers, they were from the City of London Police. I understand the Met's resources were stretched, but what I do not get is why my dad's case was the one which got passed. Had the case been carried out by the Met from the start, then the outcome might have been different. But the way it has been dealt with makes me trust the police less and makes me think they don't care'.

A City of London Police spokesman said, 'All lines of inquiries, including those relating to digital media and CCTV, were fully explored. The digital CCTV system within the venue was the subject of a detailed examination by forensic experts. They were unable to obtain images of the incident. All other evidence gathered was fully considered in consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service in making a decision on the outcome of the case'.

The status of the case review following the inquest is unknown.

Babatunde Awofeso had lived in Lea View House in Springfield, Hackney.

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