A man has been jailed after an extensive police investigation proved he fatally stabbed his wife and started a fire to cover up the murder.
At the Old Bailey on Monday, 16 October, Amidu Koroma, 48, (01.01.1975) of Railton Road, SE24, was sentenced to life with a minimum of 29 years for the murder of 46-year-old Mariam Kamara.
He had previously been found guilty at the same court following a trial.
Detective Chief Inspector Chris Wood, who led the investigation, said: “This was a brutal murder and an appalling act of violence against a woman.
“After murdering his wife, Koroma then started a fire to cover up his actions. This was a further selfish act which put other members of the public at risk.
“My officers conducted an in-depth investigation into this murder and worked hard to gather a range of evidence which pointed to Koroma as the killer.
“Our thoughts are with Ms Kamara’s family and friends and in particular with her son who we continue to support through this trauma.
“The Met is committed to reducing violence against women and thankfully Ms Kamara’s killer has been brought to justice today.”
The jury heard how detectives launched a murder inquiry after being called to the house fire in Railton Road in the early hours of Monday, 24 January 2022.
Koroma and the couple’s son had escaped the building but Ms Kamara’s body was found in the top bedroom. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police were immediately suspicious after observing that Koroma had made little attempt to rescue his wife from the burning building, despite re-entering at one point to get some clothes for his son.
They also discovered a large store of jerry cans containing petrol in the loft of the house and detected the distinctive smell of an accelerant coming from the vicinity of Ms Kamara’s body, which led them to suspect that the fire may have been started deliberately.
A post-mortem examination found that, despite Ms Kamara’s body being extremely badly fire damaged, she had in fact suffered one or more stab wounds to the neck and chest prior to her death. An absence of evidence of smoke inhalation confirmed that she had been killed before the fire was set.
Detectives undertook an extensive investigation, conducting a detailed search of the property, analysing key evidence, gathering witness statements and drawing on expert advice.
They sought input from a forensic scientist who found that the fire was likely to have been started by the ignition of petrol.
A consultant plastic surgeon also confirmed that a burn wound on Koroma’s foot of about 8-9cm, could only have been caused by close contact with the fire. This in contrary to Koroma’s claims that he could not access the room where the fire was to rescue his wife.
Forensic evidence was also identified of Mariam’s blood on his clothing as well as burn damage caused by a transient flame.

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