Two Convicted of Murder of Ian Tomlin

Stabbed to death when he challenged them over drug dealing

Two men who killed Ian Tomlin after he confronted them over drug dealing on his estate in Battersea have been convicted of murder at the Old Bailey.

48-year-old Gary Beech of Cromwell House, Charlotte Despard Avenue, Battersea, and 45-year-old Michael Swan of Enterprise Way, SW18, were found guilty on Wednesday, 8 May.

The court heard how Beech and 46-year-old father-of-two Mr Tomlin were neighbours, and that Swan, a close friend of Beech, was a regular visitor to the block. Mr Tomlin believed the pair were dealing drugs from there and often challenged them when they were hanging around on the estate. This had led to a long-running feud between the victim and the two defendants, spanning many months before the attack.

On Wednesday, 17 October 2018, Mr Tomlin returned home shortly after 5.20pm to find Beech and Swan meeting in a communal area on the first floor landing of the building and a fight broke out.

Ian Tomlin
Victim Ian Tomlin

The court heard from a witness who described how Mr Tomlin had armed himself with a baseball bat and chain during the confrontation. CCTV footage captured Swan and Ian fighting, with Beech intervening. He was then overcome and struck on the head a number of times with the baseball bat he brought to the scene; he was also stabbed repeatedly in the neck. Beech and Swan then left the block, Swan carrying what appeared, from CCTV footage, to be the baseball bat.

Police arrived on scene shortly after the assault, and found Mr Tomlin lying on the floor of the first floor communal lift area with severe injuries. He had received fatal wounds to the back of his head and neck and, despite the efforts of emergency services, was pronounced dead at the scene. A post-mortem examination identified the cause of death as a blunt force trauma to the head and stab wounds to the neck.

Charlotte Despard Avenue, SW11. Picture: Google Streetview

Detectives from Homicide and Major Crime Command launched an immediate investigation and extra patrols were put in place around the Doddington estate. Analysis of CCTV footage identified Beech and Swan as the men who had brutally assaulted Ian and left him for dead. They were arrested at the homes over the next two days.

Detective Inspector Jo Sidaway, from the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said, “These men acted together in a brutal assault leading to Ian’s tragic death.

“They overpowered Ian and began an excessively violent attack upon him, no doubt because he was again confronting them about their criminal activities.

“I hope this conviction brings some measure of comfort to Ian’s family.

“Today’s verdict shows that we will not tolerate violence on London’s streets and officers will pursue and bring anyone who incites such brutal and horrific acts to justice.”

Both have been remanded in custody and appear for sentencing on Friday, 17 May at the same court


May 9, 2019