'Big softie' father-of-four was gunned down ‘in case of mistaken identity’

·3 min read
Dean Edwards, 43, was shot once through the back of the head in south-east London. (PA)
Dean Edwards, 43, was shot once through the back of the head in south-east London. (PA)

A father-of-four was gunned down in “a case of mistaken identity”, a jury has been told.

Dean Edwards, 43, suffered “catastrophic injuries” after being shot once through the back of the head as he walked through Betts Park in Penge, south-east London, in July 2020.

Prosecutor Julian Evans QC told the Old Bailey on Wednesday it was “effectively an execution killing”.

Taylor Purdy, 26, of Dulwich, south-east London, denies his murder.

Hollie Edwards, Mr Edward's daughter, described her dad as a "funny, kind and generous" man who loved karaoke and Formula 1 racing.

"If you needed help, he would be the first one there. He was never confrontational and hated arguments; he was a big softie at heart,” she said at the time of his death.

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The Central Criminal Court also referred to as the Old Bailey, on Old Bailey, central London.
The trial is taking place at the Old Bailey in central London. (PA)

Mr Edwards had been at a pub and was walking alone towards Anerley Station when he was shot in the early hours of July 12 2020, the court heard.

The jury was told that “in all likelihood” he was shot with a self-loading pistol.

A 9mm cartridge case was found close to the body just off a path, and a fired 9mm bullet was retrieved during the post-mortem examination.

Mr Evans said: “Tragically, it would appear that Mr Edwards was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

He added: “In all likelihood, the man who shot him – the gunman – must have been lying in wait somewhere inside Betts Park.

“From the evidence, it would appear that the gunman must have seen Dean Edwards and then approached him from behind before shooting him. He did so, apparently, without any warning.”

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Hollie Edwards, the daughter of Dean Edwards, stands next to tributes for her father at Betts Park in south London, as police renew an appeal for information over Dean's murder. Edwards, 43, was shot in the back of the head while leaving Betts Park in Penge in July.
Hollie Edwards, the daughter of Dean Edwards, stands next to tributes for her father at Betts Park. (PA)

DNA evidence links Purdy to a cigarette butt found in a residential street near Betts Park, and CCTV footage in the local area was recovered, the court heard.

The prosecution say Purdy was the gunman and he is a man shown in CCTV footage taken near the park before and after the killing.

During his police interview, Purdy denied any involvement in the shooting and denied being the man on CCTV in the vicinity of Betts Park and the surrounding area on the night of 11 July and into the early hours of the following day.

Purdy said he did not know Mr Edwards and was not in Betts Park on the night of the murder.

He says he may have been out with friends that night in a car.

He accepted that he smoked cigarettes but not every day. He said he did not know why a cigarette butt bearing his DNA had been found in the area.

Purdy denied any involvement in the murder and said he had no issue with anyone from the Penge area.

The trial continues.

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