Julio Gomes was stabbed to death in ‘swift and savage act’ in Jubilee Park two years ago
A 41-year-old man has been convicted of stabbing an Edmonton Green market trader to death in Jubilee Park two years ago.
Lukasz Siemienowicz, aged 41, of Croyland Road in Edmonton, was found guilty of the murder of 29-year-old Julio Gomes following a two-week trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court. He will be sentenced next week.
Prior to the trial, Siemienowicz had entered a guilty plea to one count of manslaughter and another of possession of a knife, but had contested the count of murder.
The court heard that Julio, a father of three children, was attacked in the grounds of Old Edmontonians’ Sports and Social Club, in Jubilee Park. Julio, who also had a second job as a cleaner to support his family, was stabbed a little after 8pm on Saturday, 14th September 2019.
Julio had recently finished his shift working at Edmonton Green Market and had gone to the park to relax. This was something he did often and although Julio had called a friend to join him, on this occasion he was alone when Siemienowicz attacked him.
Julio was stabbed near the grandstand, around 65 metres from the clubhouse, and then tried to run away, but was pursued across the park by a “drunk and drug-fuelled” Siemienowicz.
The chase came to an end near the clubhouse and was witnessed by a man and woman who were having a drink nearby. Before he lost consciousness, Julio told the pair: “The man’s mad, he’s just stabbed me.”
Bleeding heavily, Julio collapsed. The woman took off her hoodie to apply pressure to what was a serious stomach wound, while the man dialled 999. Despite the best efforts of paramedics and police officers, Julio was pronounced dead at the scene. A post-mortem examination found cause of death to have been a stab wound to the abdomen.
As efforts to save Julio had been taking place, Siemienowicz was detained by guests from a party inside the clubhouse. Having left the party to assist, they persuaded a disoriented and drunk Siemienowicz to lie down on the floor. By this time he had dropped the weapon and was reported to have said: “I’m sorry, only god can save me.”
Siemienowicz had been drinking heavily and had used a significant amount of cocaine in the 24 hours prior to the attack. He had to be sedated before he could be taken to hospital. In a police interview he later claimed he was at the bandstand in Jubilee Park drinking vodka and listening to music, and that he had been attacked, taking his knife out of his pocket in self defence. However, he later admitted he was not attacked and claimed instead that he couldn’t remember what had taken place. He insisted he had not intended to kill Julio.
A kitchen knife was recovered from the grassed area at the sports ground and was later found to match a set of knives found following a search of Siemienowicz’s bedsit in Croyland Road.
Detective Sergeant Dolores Connolly, from the Metropolitan Police’s specialist crime command, oversaw the investigation. Upon the return of the jury’s guilty verdict, she said: “It was a swift and savage act that ended the life of Julio Gomes, and it is satisfying that the jury has seen past Siemienowicz’s defence and convicted him of murder.
“Julio, who was originally from Guinea Bissau, worked six days a week in order to earn money to look after his family, and was simply going about his daily routine when he had the tragic misfortune to wander into the path of Siemienowicz.
“This is a man who was high on cocaine and claimed to have no memory of killing Julio. He will now face a lengthy jail term, which will thankfully prevent him from harming any further innocent people, although it is too late for Julio’s family to draw comfort from this.
“We would like to thank the members of the public who helped Julio and detained the violent and dangerous suspect with no thought for their own safety.”
In a statement Julio’s mother, Cadi Gomes, said: “Julio was our golden boy, our first-born child. He belonged to a humble, respectful and honest family and he had a determined work ethic.
“He has three children, twin boys aged twelve and a daughter aged eight. We know nothing will bring Julio back to us and we hope seeing the man who killed him convicted will bring us a little peace.
“We will never know the reason why he was brutally taken away from us and this is a torment as there was no reason. We do not want any other family to have to suffer this loss as we have. We are grateful to the police and the court for everything they have done in obtaining justice for Julio.”