NewsCrime World

Hunt continues for single punch killer

Oliver Dearlove
Oliver Dearlove

Detectives investigating the death of a banker feared to have been killed by a single punch on a night out have spoken to "a number of significant witnesses" as they try to find his killer.

Investigators are scouring CCTV to see if the suspect who attacked Oliver Dearlove, 30, in leafy Blackheath, south-east London, in the early hours of Sunday was caught on camera.

He was waiting for a taxi with his friends in Tranquil Vale and began talking to a group of women, before a man hit Mr Dearlove, causing him to collapse at around 12.45am. A post-mortem examination showed the cause of death to be bleeding in the skull.

Detective Chief Inspector Lee Watling said: "The investigation is moving at a fast pace and we have made considerable progress so far in identifying and speaking to a number of significant witnesses who are helping us to understand the exact sequence of events.

"We are also undertaking significant CCTV inquiries from Blackheath Village and the surrounding areas to establish if the suspect has been captured on CCTV, and help us to identify him as soon as possible.

"In the meantime, I would encourage the man to come forward and speak to me about the events of Sunday night.

"Blackheath was still busy at that time of the evening and perhaps someone saw or heard something suspicious. If so, I would encourage them to call the police. They may have important information which could help us to identify the suspect as soon as possible.

"I would like to thank everybody who has come forward so far, but would like to appeal once again to anyone who was in Blackheath Village that evening and saw the suspect assault Oliver or saw him leaving the area afterwards to come forward.

"Oliver's family, his girlfriend and friends have been left devastated by his death and deserve to know what happened to him. If you have any information, no matter how insignificant you think it is, contact the police."

Mr Dearlove lived with his girlfriend in Eltham, south-east London, and was a relationship manager at Duncan Lawrie Private Bank.

His mother, Joy Wright, from Chislehurst, told The Guardian: "He and his friends all met up, had lunch, dinner, drinks. He texted his girlfriend that he loved her around 10pm. Someone picked a fight, punched him and (he) fell backwards and that was it.

"He was just perfect. I'm in a state of shock. We have friends and family here and we're all pulling together. Sometimes I'm all right, sometimes I'm not. I'm absolutely devastated for him. (He had) so much more life to live."

Police are asking people to call the Incident Room on 020 8721 4205 or to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.