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A man stabbed to death on a petrol station forecourt at the weekend was freed by judges in May just months into a five-year sentence for possessing a prohibited firearm, it has emerged.

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Thomas Cudjoe died of stab wounds to the chest and legs at Shell petrol station, Ley Street, Ilford, at 3.15am on Saturday.

The 29-year-old was freed from jail on May 24 because his prison sentence was deemed “unsafe”.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard during a trial in 2011 that a handgun had been used to fire a bullet cartridge, found near the spot in Dagenham where two men were shot in August 2010.

Mr Cudjoe was tried for attempted murder and causing GBH, but was acquitted due to a lack of prosecution evidence.

In May, his firearms conviction went the same way after prosecution lawyers decided not to oppose his appeal.

Detectives investigating Mr Cudjoe’s murder say they are keeping an open mind as to any motive.

A blue Ford Focus, which two women were seen getting out of while the altercation was happening, was recovered at the scene.

Officers are appealing for information, particularly from anyone who saw the blue Ford Focus, registered EJ57 OED, in Ilford on Friday or the early hours of Saturday morning.

Investigating officer Det Ch Insp John Sandlin said: “I also wish to speak with anyone who had been in The Bell pub that evening as well as anyone who saw the altercation at the Shell petrol station.”

There have been no arrests.

Anyone with information should contact 020 8345 3865. To remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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