Guilty: Man who killed Stratford hotel worker over Gucci bag
- Credit: MPS
A violent robber who stabbed a Stratford hotel concierge worker for his second-hand Gucci bag has been convicted of murder.
Tyler Roye had just finished a late shift at the Holiday Inn and was on his way home when he was attacked just after midnight on February 26 this year.
Samuel Odupitan followed Tyler off a tram in Croydon, robbed him then fatally stabbed him six times.
Tyler's mother, Cecilia Smith, said: “Odupitan is an evil predator and opportunist who preyed on my son for a bag. He robbed my son of his precious life. He is a danger to society and has no regard for human life.”
The 24-year-old victim had just picked up a phone call from his girlfriend when Odupitan confronted him and demanded his things.
After a struggle, Odupitan, also 24, fled with the Gucci bag. Tyler managed to stumble a few steps away to a schoolfriend’s house before collapsing inside.
Paramedics were called and he was taken to hospital but died shortly before 3am.
Police arrested Odupitan at his home on March 1 after identifying him on CCTV.
The distinctive jacket and hoodie he was wearing during the attack were not found, but his mobile phone contained a number of photos of him in the same outfit.
Analysis of his phone found images of knives, messages about them sent by friends as well as a video of him driving a car armed with a blade.
Police also found pictures of bags and photographs of Odupitan holding or wearing them too.
Devi Kharran, senior crown prosecutor at the CPS, said: “This was an opportunistic and unprovoked attack on a hardworking young man who was on his way home from work.
“Using the incriminating evidence found on the defendant’s own phone and CCTV footage, the prosecution was able to prove Odupitan murdered Tyler Rowe in cold blood for the sake of a designer bag.
“From the moment Odupitan spotted his victim wearing a bag that he liked - he pursued him.
“Mr Rowe could not have known what would happen on a journey that he so often took. But he lost his life simply because he had the fatal misfortune of encountering a violent robber on his way home.”
Odupitan, of Longheath Gardens, Croydon, was found guilty of murder yesterday (Tuesday, December 1) at Croydon Crown Court.
He had previously pleaded guilty to four counts of robbery that preceded the murder and will be sentenced on Monday, December 7.