Illegal immigrant found guilty of bludgeoning boss to death

An Albanian immigrant who used false documents to secure work in the UK has been found guilty of murder after bludgeoning his boss to death on a construction site in central London in April 2018.

The trial of 24-year-old Albanian labourer Elton Sefa concluded yesterday at the Old Bailey, where a jury had heard how he had slashed the foreman of the building site, 47-year-old John Woodward with a craft knife before beating him to death with a metal pole after a dispute over pay.

A police report revealed how the assailant, who had used a false name and false documents to secure the job in Britain, fled the scene and boarded a flight to Amsterdam just hours later. He subsequently returned to his home country of Albania where he resided until authorities arrested him on 28 February 2019. He was extradited back to the UK in January 2020.

The immigrant had pled guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility however a jury found him guilty of murder on Tuesday. His sentencing hearing will take place on Thursday, 8 July.

Detective Inspector James Howarth from the Met’s Specialist Crime led the investigation and said: “John was a loving and caring family man and supervisor who was attacked in the cowardly manner by the man who John had overseen for the previous seven months. Elton Sefa has refused to say why he attacked John in such a brutal and frenzied way and that has only added to the distress for John’s family.

“To John’s family, I express my admiration for your patience, fortitude and dignity which you demonstrated over the past three traumatic and very difficult years. I hope that now Elton Sefa has been convicted of John’s murder, you can begin to rebuild your lives and move on from this traumatic episode.

“This has been a complex and protracted investigation and I would like to thank all those involved for their diligence and tenacity in ensuring Sefa was brought back to the UK to face justice.

“To those who commit horrendous and barbarous offences – do not believe that by leaving these shores you are safe. We will find you. We will extradite you. You will face justice.”