Gary Hopkins – 37 (09.10.81) of Hartmoor Mews, Enfield was sentenced to life imprisonment to serve a minimum term of 22 years at the Old Bailey on Thursday, 27 June. He was also sentenced to four years’ imprisonment for each offence for perverting the course of justice and preventing a lawful burial – sentences to run concurrently.
Hopkins was found guilty of the three offences following a trial at the same court on 28 March.
His partner, Stacey Docherty, 28 (09.08.90) of the same address was sentenced at the same hearing to 27 months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice.
Docherty pleaded guilty at the same court on 31 May.
An investigation was launched after officers, acting on information received, attended a residential address in Hartmoor Mews, Enfield, at around 14:00hrs on Monday, 27 August 2018. The body of a male was found inside.
The body was eventually identified as Abdi Ali, 17, of Ostell Crescent, Enfield, who had been reported missing to police by his family on 31 December 2017. He was last seen by them on 11 December 2017, at a family wedding.
The discovery of his body at Hopkins’ home address followed information provided to police by a friend.
This information led to officers searching their address and finding Abdi’s body which was wrapped in bedding and hidden in the loft.
The friend told police that on the evening of 25 August 2018, she had gone to visit the flat in Hartmoor Mews. Hopkins was angry with a male who was asleep at his address. He informed the friend that he intended to rob and kill the man. Hopkins claimed he had done it before and that the body was in his attic.
Hopkins placed a ladder against the wall and encouraged an associate who was also at the address to look into the loft encouraging him to touch what he was looking at.
The shocked friend would later be told that the body was an unknown Somali male who was about 18 years old and that he had been disrespectful whilst in the house. Abdi often stayed in the address because he was homeless and would sell drugs in return as a mutual arrangement.
On the day of the murder, just before Christmas on 21 December 2017, Abdi was asleep on the sofa. Hopkins hit Abdi with a hammer; the hammer broke but Abdi was not dead so Hopkins went into the kitchen and got a knife and stabbed him in the heart.
Abdi was then robbed of cash and drugs before his body was cleaned up, wrapped in a bed sheet and black bags, and put into the loft.
After hearing this information, the friend attended a Hertfordshire police station on 27 August 2018.
Hopkins and Docherty were arrested at their address on the afternoon of 27 August after officers acted on the information and found Abdi’s body.
Hopkins account was that two men, known associates who dealt drugs had been looking for Abdi on the day he was murdered, they killed him and out of fear he and Docherty had left with their children, returning home a week later.
Hopkins continued to stick to his story and attempted to leave the interview room, becoming abusive towards the interviewing officers.
Hopkins and Docherty were charged on 29 August 2018.
A post-mortem examination which took place on Friday, 31 August at Haringey Mortuary, gave Abdi’s cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head and stab wounds to the chest.