Monday, 1 January 2007

The Murder of Peter Woodhams

On 21 August 2006, 22-year-old Peter Woodhams was murdered in Canning Town, London.

He was shot in the chest in front of his fiancee and their three-year-old son after confronting a gang of yobs smoking weed outside his home. His killer, Bradley Tucker, was subsequently jailed for life.

Peter had been stabbed in the neck on a previous occasion by a member of the same gang. The police had done next to nothing about it. Peter's father, Peter senior, said he would still have been alive if officers had investigated the January stabbing properly. He said:

"These clothes are covered in his blood and their DNA. But they have been sitting in a plastic bag in a cupboard at his house for months. They could have held the key to putting these people away and saving Peter's life."
Commander Rod Jarman apologised 'for any hurt that that investigation may have caused the family.'

Vera Cohen, chairwoman of the Canning Town and Custom House Community Forum, said:

"Suddenly, when something like this happens we get an influx of police officers that we have never seen before and then they are gone. We need and want them on the beat. That will offer people reassurance when they see them and hopefully prevent other tragedies from happening. We have a Safer Neighbourhood Team and had a regular police officer for the area for a few years. Now, we have a new one who is going to have work at getting people to trust him and start from scratch. How is that good policing?

Rightly or wrongly, people here have traditionally, have not talked to the police about things. That has to change. It is not a crime to talk to them. There are two families this week without a father, two girls without a partner and mothers without a son. For their sakes we have to do something and make sure that something like this can never happen again."
Alan Craig, council opposition leader and councillor for Canning Town South, criticised Newham Council for failing to help the Woodhams family.

He said he knew of instances when victims of violence or harassment had approached the council for help, but its policy was to work with the perpetrators and address their behaviour instead!

A shopkeeper in Freemasons Road said:

"The police don't seem to do anything to stop them."
Peter is pictured below after his face and throat were slashed. Tucker is seen alongside.

The Met originally reported that Peter's killer was a 'light-skinned schoolboy.'

What do you think? The schoolboy looks pretty damn black to me.

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