Man admits killing Luton father Saul Murray after Rolex Instagram post, but denies murder

Saul Murray, 33, from Luton died of blood loss from a knife wound.
Saul Murray, 33, from Luton died of blood loss from a knife wound. Credit: Bedfordshire Police

One of four defendants accused of murdering a man who had posed on Instagram with two Rolex watches has admitted killing him, a jury has heard.

Ikem Affia, 31, has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Saul Murray, who was found naked in a pool of blood in a communal area outside his Luton flat.

The 33-year-old - described by his family as "a loving father, son, brother, uncle and friend" - had suffered a fatal stab wound to the leg after he had been drugged with the sedative GHB by two women.

The prosecutor at Luton Crown Court said the Crown Prosecution Service did not accept the plea to manslaughter.

Affia and three other defendants - Cleon Brown, 29, Surpreet Dhillon, 35 and Temidayo Awe, 21 - are on trial for murder.

At the end of the prosecution opening Jane Bickerstaff KC said Affia and the two women defendants, Dhillon and Awe, admitted conspiring to go to Mr Murray’s flat in New Town Street, Luton to steal from him, but denied conspiracy to rob him.

Mr Murray had allegedly been set up by Dhillon and university student Awe, who sedated him with GHB after he had posed on Instagram with the two Rolex watches.

He had been in touch with Dhillon on Instagram on 9 and 10 February and the conversation, which became intimate, continued on WhatsApp with her arranging to meet him on 26 February.

That night the women, who admit targeting other men in a similar way, travelled to Luton with Affia and Brown in a Mercedes A Class car that Brown had hired.

Ms Bickerstaff said: “They went to steal items from Mr Murray that they believed were of high value. They were mob handed and armed... Ikem Affia had a knife.

“They were aware that Saul Murray would be present in his home and could not have expected he would give up his watches and other high value items he had without any resistance.

“They agreed to use force and threats and agreed to the use of a sedative substance - the GHB that was given to Mr Murray to knock him out.”

The jury was told Mr Murray met the two women outside his flat. The two male defendants went off in the car and used a drive-thru McDonalds.

Samples taken from the victim’s body showed he had drunk alcohol that would have given him only a “mild degree of intoxication”. He had also consumed cannabis.

The prosecutor said: “Traces of GHB which has potent sleep-inducing properties was found. It is only prescribed in limited circumstances and is more usually obtained in the illicit drugs market.

“The level found in Mr Murray would support the scenario that it had been administered some time before he died.”

She said it was the prosecution's case that the two women had shared brandy with Mr Murray and “they gave him GHB to knock him out”.

The prosecutor said: “Ms Dhillon and Ms Awe admit entering the flat with GHB and giving it to him. They admit they have done this before - setting up men and stealing items from them including watches while those men are asleep. The men set up were also given GHB.”

She said at some point there was plainly some degree of sexual activity between the two women and Mr Murray. Swabs from both side of his face and neck contained DNA from both women.

During the 20 minutes the men were inside Mr Murray’s flat he was fatally injured, Luton crown court heard.

CCTV is said to show the two women leaving the flats followed, 19 seconds later, by the two men. A large knife was in the right hand of Affia.

Ms Bickerstaff KC said: “Mr Murray can be seen just a few seconds after the men. He is hobbling and completely naked. He opens the communal door and falls over and dies.”

She said a night shift worker dialled 999 after returning home to the flats an hour and a half later and saw Mr Murray in a pool of blood.

A post mortem found he died from a deep wound to his thigh. It penetrated his femoral artery and he bled out.

Surpreet Dhillon, 35, of Carnarvon Road, London and Cleon Brown, 29, of King Edward's Road, South Hackney deny murdering Saul Murray on 27 February this year and conspiring to rob him between 8 February and 28 February.

Temidayo Awe, 21, of Saunders Street, Gillingham and Ikem Affia, 31, of Shore Place, Hackney deny the same charges. Ikem Affia also denies having a blade.

The trial continues.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know