How did police detectives catch Horsham father's killers?

Detectives have now revealed the complex investigation that led to today's conviction of two men for killing a Horsham father.

Friday, 15th June 2018, 6:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:52 pm
Police arrested Bridge and Onofeghare at Littlehaven Railway Station. Pictures: Sussex Police

Teenager Nicholas Bridge and Daniel Onofeghare were today found guilty of causing the death of Anthony Williams on September 19 last year.

Bridge was found guilty of murder and Onofeghare was found guilty of manslaughter.

Bridge (left) was convicted of murder, while Onofeghare was convicted of manslaughter by majority verdict. Picture: Sussex Police

Following today’s conviction, police have released fascinating information detailing how the two killers were brought to justice.

It began on a Tuesday afternoon in September last year.

Mr Williams, or Tony as he was more commonly known, was socialising with friends at a flat in Burtons Court, Park Way, Horsham.

While at the flat, Tony and his friends heard a knock at the front door so one of them went to the door to see who it was.

Anthony Williams was killed in September last year

They recognised the man at the door, so opened it to let him in.

But unbeknown to the friends in the flat, Bridge and Onofeghare were stood behind the caller, police said.

Armed with knives, Bridge and Onofeghare forced their way into the flat.

Detectives say Bridge said Tony’s name and then instantly lunged at Tony with a large knife striking the first, of what would prove to be, fatal knife wounds.

The murder weapon was found in a rucksack

Onofeghare stood watch and his intimidating and threatening behaviour prevented anyone from helping Tony in his time of need.

Bridge, Onofeghare and another man fled the scene just three minutes later.

One of Tony’s friends in the flat dialled 999 and told police his friend had been attacked and needed medical help urgently.

During this phone call to the contact handler a brief description of the suspects was given. Police said this would play a vital role in the later arrests.

Nicholas Bridge caught on CCTV arriving at Horsham Railway Station

Police and ambulance crews arrived at the scene and despite their best efforts, Tony died shortly after their arrival.

He had sustained multiple stab wounds, emergency services found.

Within 40 minutes of the murder taking place, police received another 999 phone call to say two men were acting suspiciously at Littlehaven Railway Station, near Horsham.

The quick-thinking contact handler was able to match their description to the previous call from Tony’s friend and made officers aware.

Officers rushed to the station, less than two miles away from the flat, and arrested Bridge and Onofeghare, as well as a woman who was with them.

CCTV captured the suspects fleeing the scene

Following the convictions, Detective Chief Inspector Emma Heater thanked all those involved in the investigation.

Investigating the crime

With the suspects in custody, forensic officers were faced with the shocking crime scene and started to perform a painstaking examination of the flat.

Officers went house-to-house asking residents if they had seen anything.

Mobile phone analysis and public appeals were also carried out by police to piece together exactly what had happened.

Detectives quickly established that Tony and one of the suspects, Onofeghare, had recently been involved in an altercation.

They found how days before Tony died, he and a friend went to an acquaintance’s flat and met Onofeghare for the first time.

While at this flat, an altercation between the three of them occurred in which Onofeghare’s drug supply was stolen.

Following the incident, Onofeghare texted a friend saying “I got rushed and robbed” and decided that revenge needed to be sought, police said.

The day after the drugs altercation, despite in his police interviews saying that he knew nothing about it, Bridge and a woman travelled by train from London to Horsham.

The pair could be seen on CCTV arriving at Horsham Railway Station at 4.40pm.

Detectives heard how Bridge and the woman made their way to where Onofeghare was staying. After texting an acquaintance, Bridge was able to find out the address Tony had been staying at.

An arranged driver collected the pair and took them to the flat.

The suspects used the driver, who was known to Tony and his friends, to knock on the door with the hope he would be able to get them into the flat.

After the stab wounds were inflicted on Tony, CCTV captured the suspects fleeing the scene. As they left, they walked past one of Tony’s friends telling him to ‘keep his mouth shut’.

They got back into the car and planned their exit from the town.

The driver took the suspects back to where Onofeghare had been staying in the run up to the murder. They booked a taxi to take them to Littlehaven Railway Station, near Horsham, where they were arrested shortly after.

The pair were searched and in their possession was a rucksack with the murder weapon – a knife – stashed inside, along with a BB gun and Bridge’s T-shirt.

Police say they seized all of this as vital evidence.

Forensic analysis later showed that blood found on the weapon and T-shirt matched that of the victim. Traces of blood were also found on Onefeghare’s clothing.

The knife was found in a rucksack

Both Bridge and Onofeghare were charged with murder on September 22 and remanded in custody. A 23-year-old woman, of no fixed address, who was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender, was later released without charge.