Man jailed for 41 years after ‘unprovoked’ murder of mother-of-two at bus stop

James Sinclair was previously found guilty of the murder of Shadika Patel and the attempted murder of a 48-year-old woman.

Man jailed for 41 years after ‘unprovoked’ murder of mother-of-two at bus stop

A man who stabbed a mother-of-two to death and attempted to murder another woman 24 hours later in two “unprovoked” attacks has been jailed for 41 years, the Metropolitan Police said.

James Sinclair, 31, was handed the prison sentence after being found guilty of the murder of Shadika Patel and the attempted murder of a 48-year-old woman, following a trial at the Old Bailey.

Ms Patel was waiting for a bus in East Ham when she was stabbed seven times by Sinclair during the early hours of March 19, 2020.

James Sinclair court case
James Sinclair has been jailed for stabbing a mother-of-two to death and attempting to murder another woman 24 hours later (CPS/PA)

Sinclair stabbed her in the face, head and shoulders during the 20-second attack, before leaving her fatally injured on the pavement.

A member of the public who heard her scream called the police. Ms Patel was taken to Newham General Hospital, where she died despite the efforts of hospital staff.

Sinclair then struck again the following day in Islington, stabbing a lone woman in the face and body.

However, this time his victim survived. He fled the scene, but was arrested a week later following a police investigation.

James Sinclair court case
Shadika Patel was waiting for a bus when she was stabbed seven times (CPS/PA)

On Friday, he was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 41 years for murder, with a concurrent life imprisonment term, with a minimum of 18 years for the attempted murder, the Met said.

The force added the 830 days spent on remand in custody will be taken off this total sentence.

Sinclair refused to attend court during his trial and never gave an explanation for why he attacked the two women.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Rogers, speaking after the sentencing hearing, said: “I am pleased with the length of the prison sentence, which reflects the severity of James Sinclair’s crimes.

“This investigation demonstrates that the Met will act swiftly to arrest and prosecute anyone who commits this type of violent crime.

“James Sinclair will now spend the majority of the rest of his life in prison and will no longer pose a threat to anyone on the streets of London.”

Detective Inspector John Marriott, the lead investigator, said: “James Sinclair’s actions have devastated the lives of Shadika’s friends and family and left her two teenage sons without a mother.

“It is incomprehensible why he chose to attack two lone women at night. Incidents such as this are rare and my team of detectives worked at pace to identify Sinclair before he could attack anyone else.

“Tackling violence against women and girls is an absolute priority for the Met. Every day our officers are working with partners across the capital to improve safety in our public spaces.

Stabbing in Newham
Ms Patel was attacked in Altmore Avenue (PA)

“I would urge our community, especially women, to report any suspicious or unwanted behaviour and seek help if you feel threatened.

“These appalling crimes have no place in our society. We are determined to bring perpetrators to justice, while improving safety for everyone in London.

“Everyone should be able to their lives free of the fear of violence.”

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