Thursday 22 February 2018

Murder investigation launched after man (20) 'battered to death with a shovel' in front of parents

Police appeal for information as they say victim was assaulted by two men who knew him

The victim, named locally as Quhey Saunders, was pronounced dead on Wednesday morning after his life support machine was switched off (Image: Facebook)
The victim, named locally as Quhey Saunders, was pronounced dead on Wednesday morning after his life support machine was switched off (Image: Facebook)

Samuel Osborne

A murder investigation has been launched after a 20-year-old man was battered to death with a shovel in front of his parents during an argument about a parking space outside a petrol station at Cobham services on the M25.

The victim, named locally as Quhey Saunders from Stanford-le-Hope, was airlifted to St George's hospital in Tooting, where he was pronounced dead on Wednesday morning after his life support machine was switched off.

Surrey Police said Mr Saunders was assaulted by two men who knew him, who were seen leaving the scene in a white van later found abandoned in Chessington.

One witness to the attack, Rafael Francis, told the Evening Standard: “I don’t know what started it, but there were lots of vicious punches and kicks being thrown. They were shouting about getting a gun, that’s when I tried to get involved.”

The 53-year-old said he could only watch as one of the two men grabbed a shovel from the back of their Peugeot van and aimed "vicious" blows at Mr Saunders' head.

He added: “I knew it was serious but my training took over. His father was helping me try to stem the blood as I screamed for an ambulance.”

Footage of the aftermath of the attack showed the young man receiving first aid from police as a woman screamed: "Please help him, please help him.”

Mr Francis, who can be seen in the footage, said: “His mother kept asking me if I thought the boy was going to make it, I couldn’t look her in the eye. There was just too much blood.

“Until the police came no-one else tried to help. Everyone was filming it on their phones, even as I’m begging for a first aid kit people are just looking through their cameras.”

Mr Saunders' girlfriend, Larosa Smith, wrote on Facebook: “He wasn't just my boyfriend, he was my best friend, my full life.

“I'm so lost without him, knowing I can't just ring he's phone and hear his voice or fall asleep on the phone like we did every night.

“Even when we'd argue we would ring each other and not talk, just go to sleep on the phone. It's the little things what mean the most. I love you with all my heart my Quhey.”

She added: “I really don't know how I'm gonna live without you you was my everything I lived every day for you.

“I'm so proud of you, I love you more than anyone or anything in this full world you'll never leave my side and I'll never love anyone like I love.”

Luke Saunders said: “A world without you is a world not worth living in.

“You know you’re my partner, my brother, if ever I could be half the man you was our family would be very proud.

“I never showed you how much I idolised you or told you how proud I am of the man that you became.”

Independent News Service

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