Saturday 10 December 2016

Heartbroken mother of banker (30) who died after assault says he was 'just perfect'

Published 29/08/2016 | 20:07

Undated handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of Oliver Dearlove who died following an assault Tranquil Vale, Blackheath, south-east London.
Undated handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of Oliver Dearlove who died following an assault Tranquil Vale, Blackheath, south-east London.

The mother of a banker who died after being assaulted on a night out has described him as "just perfect".

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Police were called to reports of a man assaulted in Tranquil Vale, Blackheath, south-east London, at around 12.45am on Sunday, Scotland Yard said.

Oliver Dearlove, 30, from nearby Eltham, was taken to an east London hospital, where he died just after 10.20pm.

His mother, Joy Wright, from Chislehurst, told The Guardian: "He was very easygoing, lots and lots of friends, played lots of football.

"He studied hard at school. He worked for a private bank in Belgravia. He had been travelling for a year. He did what most nice people do."

The newspaper said Mr Dearlove worked as a relationship manager for the private bank Duncan Lawrie, and had previously worked for Coutts and Barclays.

Ms Wright told the newspaper: "He and his friends all met up, had lunch, dinner, drinks. He texted his girlfriend that he loved her around 10pm. Someone picked a fight, punched him and [he] fell backwards and that was it.

"I don't think there was an altercation. I think someone said to him and his friends 'what are you looking at?' and that was it. I think he stopped breathing when he hit the floor. His friends gave him CPR."

She added: "He was just perfect. I'm in a state of shock. We have friends and family here and we're all pulling together. Sometimes I'm all right, sometimes I'm not. I'm absolutely devastated for him. [He had] so much more life to live."

Police have launched a murder investigation and a post-mortem examination will be carried out at Greenwich Mortuary on Tuesday.

Detective Chief Inspector Lee Watling, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: "We are retaining an open mind at this stage of the investigation with regards to a motive and our primary aim is to establish how Mr Dearlove came to receive the injuries which led to his death.

"We are appealing for anyone who was at Tranquil Vale who witnessed the incident, in particular a group of up to four white females who Mr Dearlove and his friends were speaking to around the time the offence occurred."

No arrests have been made.

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