‘Big softie’ father-of-four shot dead in an alley in ‘case of mistaken identity’

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  • August 13, 2020
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The daughter of a ‘big softie’ gunned down in a gangland-style execution as he walked home last month has launched an appeal for information about her father’s murder.

It is believed 43-year-old Dean Edwards was assassinated in a case of ‘mistaken identity’ as he left Betts Park in Penge, south east London, in the early hours of Sunday July 12.

Detectives have looked at CCTV and interviewed neighbours to try to piece together what happened to the grandfather-of-six, but are yet to find a motive for the killing.

They said the father-of-four, who adopted three step-children in his early 20s, was not involved in any criminal activity and had never been in trouble with police.

Mr Edwards’ daughter Hollie, 21, described her dad as ‘a friendly, bubbly and loving person’.

‘He was never confrontational and hated arguments, he was a big softie at heart, loved all the grandchildren and spoiled them,’ she said.

‘He was a good, innocent person.

‘He was really generous, used to get all the beers in. You knew you were having a cheap night if you went out with dad. But he’s been taken from us, wrongly.’

Ms Edwards appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

‘Someone out there knows what happened to our dad,’ she said.

‘Please tell the police any little thing you’ve heard, it might be a big deal.’

She added: ‘We’ve tried to sugar-coat what’s happened with the grandchildren, but the oldest one is eight and he wants and deserves answers as much as we do.’

Mr Edwards was walking down an alleyway leading onto Croydon Road near his home when he was shot with a 9mm pistol. His lifeless body was discovered at around 2am.

Detective Chief Inspector Kate Kieran said there is ‘nothing’ in his ‘life, background, family and friends’ or in the pubs he visited on the night he died ‘that indicate he’s had a row or argument’.

Police are now concentrating on criminality in the area and those with access to firearms.

Detective Kieran said: ‘For there to have been a single person who has got hold of a firearm, shot someone dead in a park – not necessarily the person they were intending – and then not talk about it, that would be highly unusual.

‘We really do think there are people out there who know what’s happened – that’s who we want to hear from.

‘Nobody has a bad word to say about Dean. This case – with Dean being an innocent victim – has a particular impetus.’

Mr Edwards’ death was one among a spate of violent murders in the capital during a short period last month.

Billy McCullagh, 27, was gunned down in Harlesden, north west London, on July 16, a day after 18-year-old Ahmed Yasin-Ali was found stabbed to death in Maida Vale, west London.

British champion fighter Jahreau Shepherd was stabbed to death in Kennington, south London, on July 11, while a 19-year-old man was left in a critical condition and two 15-year-old boys were seriously injured in a triple shooting in the Broadwater Farm estate, north London, on July 23.

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