Police believe youth worker murdered convicted sex offender in act of revenge
A youth worker murdered a convicted sex offender in an act of “revenge or retribution”, police believe, following an inquest into a double homicide in December 2017.
Nathaniel Henry, 37, allegedly strangled and dismembered Noel Brown, 69, and then killed his daughter, Maria Brown, 41, when she arrived to check on her father.
The bodies of the pair were discovered at Mr Brown’s home in Deptford, south-east London, on December 4 2017.
Mr Brown had a history of 12 convictions covering 33 offences, several of which were sexual.
DCI Helen Rance, of the Metropolitan Police’s specialist crime team, said on Friday that the killings were believed to be linked to one of Mr Brown’s previous offences and had been carried out in “revenge or in retribution”, although the specific offence was not disclosed.
DCI Simon Harding added that Mr Brown’s criminal history was unknown by the community prior to his death and he had been out of prison since 2004.
Officers investigating the case, dubbed Operation Needingworth, were initially unsure about how many offenders were involved.
Hours of CCTV footage were analysed and images of a man seen carrying a distinctive large backpack, dubbed Rucksack-man, were later issued.
DNA later found inside the flat was linked to Henry (pictured) with help from the National Crime Agency.
On the night of the incident, police responded to a missing persons report at 2.20am and were told that Ms Brown had gone to check on her father after she was unable to contact him.
Officers forced entry into the one-bedroom flat and found both bodies.
Mr Brown was discovered strangled and partially dismembered in the bath and there were signs of bleach burns on his body.
Ms Brown, a primary school teacher, was found dead in the living room.
It is believed she was strangled after disturbing the killer.
DCI Harding said the success of linking the crime to Henry was “tinged with frustration and sadness” at being unable to provide the victims’ family with closure.
He said: “I don’t feel that they feel they have (received closure).
“I think anyone in this circumstance would want somebody to face justice in the normal way that we would want in a court, and serve a long sentence for what they did. To be punished.
“So I don’t feel that they’re really content with it, which is perfectly understandable. It’s very difficult to not have their time to see that person face justice in the way they probably should have done.”
Henry’s body was subsequently found at an address in Southwark near to his home on December 31 2017.
A post-mortem examination revealed his cause of death to be a drug-related overdose, though it could not be ruled as a suicide.
Henry, who worked as a youth mentor, was described as a “true pillar of the community” by neighbours following his death.
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