A £20,000 reward is being offered for information identifying those involved in the murder of Carl O’Brien, a cab driver who was attacked in the morning of December 3 2016 in a communal stairwell of flats at 12 Vanguard Way, Wallington. Mr O’Brien, who was taken to a south London hospital later that day after losing consciousness, died from his injuries on December 23. A post-mortem examination said that blunt trauma injury to the head was the cause of death.
Initially a 26-year-old man was arrested and charged with the crime, but was found not guilty of murder following a trial at Isleworth Crown Court in October. Therefore, the case is still open, and detectives are appealing for new information.
Statement From Carl’s daughter Laura
Our dad was an amazing dad, granddad, son, brother and friend to so many.
He was a kind, generous man who wouldn’t hesitate to help anyone. Our dad was in our lives every day and we grew up knowing how much he cared and loved us.
Dad was distinctive by his stature, generosity, sense of humour and heart. Lovingly named ‘Wurzel’ by many, nobody would forget meeting him and everyone has a funny story of him.
Dad was a loyal friend and at his funeral over 600 of his friends attended and celebrated his life. As a staunch Chelsea supporter and ex-groundsman, football was his passion and he travelled far and wide to support them.
In his honour on the 55th minute of the Chelsea v Hull match a minute’s applause was held. Everyone stood and applauded. Many knew him in person or by sight.
A year later and the loss is real, his friends and family are lost without him, we miss him, we love him but we don’t have him anymore.
This attack took place on his only granddaughter’s first birthday, a day he had been looking forward to. He never got to see her again. No words can be articulated or expressed to explain how we feel.
Seeing the injuries that our defenceless dad sustained will haunt us for the rest of our lives. We sat with family and friends by his bedside for three weeks praying for him to come back to us, but the injuries were too severe and he passed away on 23 December 2016.
At a time when most families were looking forward to their Christmas, all we had were tears, grief and sorrow.
As the anniversary approaches, we would like to appeal to people to come forward with information relating to this attack so that the perpetrator or perpetrators are brought to justice. We are a normal family who never imagined that something so unjust, so unnecessary and so senseless would happen to such a gentle and well-loved person.
We as a family wouldn’t want anyone to have to go through what we live with every day.
We understand that not everyone wants to engage with the Police so please contact Crimestoppers with any information that you may have, it doesn’t matter how small. It could make a difference.
Please search your conscience, look at the ones you love, imagine them gone tomorrow by the cowardly actions of individuals. Please help to get justice for Carl, our dad. Thank you.
Anyone with information about Carl’s death can contact 020 8721 4005, or via the police non-emergency number 101. To give information anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.