Joseph Burke-Monerville’s mother gives public message to his killers on fifth anniversary of murder
- Credit: Polly Hancock
Joseph Burke-Monerville’s mother warned his killers they will be “living in hell” until they confess their crime, five years to the day since his murder in Lower Clapton.
Joseph, a Nigerian prince, was 19 when he was shot in the head at point blank range on February 16, 2013. He was sat beside his two brothers. Police believe it was a case of mistaken identity.
“It’s been five years since my three boys were shot here,” Linda Burke-Monerville addressed the crowd in Hindrey Road, Lower Clapton, on Friday.
“I lost the twin, the university student studying forensics and crime scene investigation.
“People know them [the killers], but because they are in a gang people can’t speak up. But they are already guilty in their heart. Until they confess and give themselves up, they will be living in hell.”
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In a moving speech, Mrs Burke-Monerville described how – according to the Bible – if you return stolen goods back to the rightful owner God will forgive you for your sins.
“What am I trying to say?” she asked. “If you kill can you return life?
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“If you kill, for the fact you cannot return life to the person you have taken the life from, the punishment is everlasting and God will not forgive you, and that’s what gives me peace.
“We know you, who killed my son. We know you are in your house. You have family. You have relatives. You think you can sleep in peace?
“Do yourself a favour and surrender yourself to the police. At least you will sleep – but don’t forget it’s an everlasting punishment.” A service was held at St John-at-Hackney Church in Lower Clapton Road.
Three men were due to stand trial for Joseph’s murder in 2015.
But they were acquitted when defence lawyers argued the case was bound to fail because it relied on the evidence of just one gang member.
In July 2016 that man, granted anonymity under the pseudonym Peter Brooks, gave evidence against Shahed Nowaz, 20, Roshane Reid, 22, and Scott Andrews, 28, who were also called to give evidence at an inquest into Joseph’s death.
Security was ramped up at St Pancras Coroner’s Court and 15 police officers drafted in.
At the inquest Joseph’s father John Burke-Monerville described how they “never imagined” he would lose a second son.
Joseph’s older brother Trevor Monerville was stabbed by five men in 1994 aged 26. No one has ever been convicted of his murder, either.
“My wife up until this day has been in torment – I have only seen her once since his death,” he said.
“Things have not been easy because we had or attempted to have a perfect second chance.
“Once is painful enough, but twice to have lost such precious children – young children, children who passed away before you – you cannot believe.
“We are in torment. We are in pain. We are begging for the truth. We need help. We are crying for help.”