Guilty: Man murdered woman at bus stop and tried to kill another a day later

James Sinclair, 31, of Poplar, stabbed 40-year-old Shadika Patel in the chest

James Sinclair, 31, of Poplar, stabbed 40-year-old Shadika Patel in the chest in the early hours of March 19, 2020, the Old Bailey heard - Credit: Crown Prosecution Service

A man has been found guilty of murdering a mother-of-two in East Ham as she waited for a bus, and attempting to murder another woman in Islington 24 hours later.

James Sinclair, 31, of Poplar, stabbed 40-year-old Shadika Patel in the chest in Altmore Avenue, near the junction with Barking Road, in the early hours of March 19, 2020.

Ms Patel had been hoping to take a food parcel to her two teenage sons in the lead up to the first national coronavirus lockdown, the Old Bailey heard.

The 20-second attack saw Ms Patel stabbed seven times in the face, head and shoulders, and left her with two punctured lungs.

Emergency services were alerted as a result of her audible screams; Ms Patel was rushed to Newham General Hospital, where she died soon after.

The next day Sinclair repeatedly stabbed a second lone woman in Islington to her face and upper body. 

Thankfully she survived. 

Sinclair was arrested on March 26 and subsequently charged.

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The prosecution's case included DNA evidence and CCTV footage, which clearly linked him to the attacks.

Jurors heard that workers at the hostel where Sinclair had been staying identified him from images police presented to them, and the clothes he was wearing when he murdered Ms Patel were found inside his room.

Shadika Patel who was stabbed to death by James Sinclair in East Ham

Mother-of-two Shadika Patel - Credit: Crown Prosecution Service

Sinclair was found guilty of murder and attempted murder today - Tuesday, July 5 - following a trial at the Old Bailey, which he did not attend.

Crown Prosecution Service senior prosecutor Samantha Yelland said: “These were opportunistic, unprovoked and vicious attacks on two women while they were alone and in the dark.

“James Sinclair targeted his victims leaving them both for dead in the street. 

"Shadika Patel was a concerned mother who had packed a bag of food to take to her children ahead of the national lockdown. She was brutally murdered before she even got on the bus."

She continued: “All women should be free to walk through the streets of London without fearing violent attacks.

"The CPS is committed to prosecuting those who carry out violent acts against women.

“I hope these convictions provide some sense of justice to the family and friends of Ms Patel. Our thoughts remain with them at this time.”

Sinclair will be sentenced at a later date at the same court.