Life in prison for man who shot Croydon stepfather in his own home

Carlton Ned, 41, was murdered in his home in Croydon in 2011. Picture: Metropolitan Police

Carlton Ned, 41, was murdered in his home in Croydon in 2011. Picture: Metropolitan Police

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A man who shot and killed a stepfather in his own home in south London has been sentenced to a minimum of 35 years in prison after being found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey.

Christopher Thomas, 22, fromTulse Hill, will serve a minimum of 35 years for the murder. Picture: Metropolitan PoliceChristopher Thomas, 22, fromTulse Hill, will serve a minimum of 35 years for the murder. Picture: Metropolitan Police

Carlton Ned, 41 was murdered at his house on Langdale Road, Thornton Heath, Croydon in 2011 in an attempt to protect his family from at least two masked men carrying guns.

Despite the efforts of paramedics he was pronounced dead at the scene, and a post-mortem gave the cause of death as a single gunshot wound to the chest.

Christopher Thomas, 22, of Morrison House, Tulse Hill, was given a life sentence yesterday, to serve a minimum of 35 years, after a four week trial.

Officers were called at 2.45am to reports of a shooting on Friday, July 2011, at an address in Thornton Heath.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Service said shortly before then, Mr Ned’s 21 year-old-stepson had returned home in the early hours of the morning.

He said: “As he entered the house at least two armed men, with their faces covered, followed him and forced their way in to the house, breaking the front door as they did so.

“Mr Ned’s stepson ran to the bedroom of his mother and stepfather and shouted to his mother to lock the door. As Mr Ned and his wife jumped out of bed, one of the suspects kicked in the bedroom door.”

Whilst the 41-year-old and his wife tried to hold the door closed, his stepson hid in the corner of the room.

The spokesman said: “During this time, the victims saw a gun protruding through a gap between the door and the frame.

“The gun was fired and Mr Ned’s wife was shot in the chest. She shouted ‘please don’t kill me’ and the suspect turned away from the door.”

Carlton Ned then opened his bedroom door and chased the gunman out of the house, but after hearing further gunshots his wife found him lying at the bottom of the stairs.

He had been fatally shot in the chest.

His wife was treated for a minor gunshot wound at hospital.

The police spokesman said three weeks later local officers were on duty in Brockwell Park, Tulse Hill, and noticed the defendant, Christopher Thomas, then aged 20, acting suspiciously.

Alerted by his behaviour, the officers approached him, but he ran off and was seen to discard something.

He was pursued and eventually arrested, and after a search of the area police discovered a gun wrapped inside two socks, accompanied by two bullets.

The spokesman said: “The gun was sent for forensic examination and tests confirmed that this was the gun that was used in the murder of Carlton Ned and which had also injured his wife.

“The two rounds of ammunition were of exactly the same types as those discharged during the attack at Langdale Road.”

The jury at the Old Bailey heard how the defendant and Mr Ned’s stepson were known to each other, as their girlfriends were best friends.

The spokesman said it is believed Thomas had grown jealous of his friendship with his girlfriend after they had split up.

As well as being convicted of murder the 22-year-old was also found guilty of the attempted murder of Mr Ned’s stepson, and one count of wounding with intent in relation to shooting Mr Ned’s wife, as well as a number of firearms offences.

Detective Inspector Garry Moncrieff, from the Trident Gang Crime Command, said: “This was a complex and lengthy investigation and it is clear that Carlton Ned was not the intended victim and instead Christopher Thomas had intended to kill Mr Ned’s stepson.

“Mr Ned died protecting his family and I hope today’s verdict can bring them some sense of justice for the loss of their loved one.”

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