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Man jailed for 29 years for murder of Keisha McKenzie


Two images of Keisha McKenzie are available here:

Image 1

Image 2

A n image of Desmond Brooks is available here.

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This page was last updated on
24-Mar-2015 14:23

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A man who murdered his ex-wife and tried to kill his current partner in a violent rampage has today, Tuesday 24 March, been jailed for life at the Old Bailey.

Desmond Brooks, 42 (16.12 72) of Elstead House, Redlands Way, SW2, will serve a minimum of 29 years.

Yesterday (Monday, 23 March) at the Old Bailey he admitted murdering ex-wife Keisha McKenzie, attempted murder of current partner Joan Wade and assault occasioning grievous bodily harm with intent on Keisha's sister Saffron Yeboah-Simpson.

Investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Will Reynolds, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: "Brooks went on a lengthy and extremely violent rampage, intent on harming the women in his life.

"Keisha's injuries were so severe she never stood a change while Joan is still recovering from her horrendous ordeal. Brooks used a variety of knives and the fact that his actions were witnessed by his own young children did nothing to rein him in.

"His excuse was that he could no longer face the perceived 'disrespect' shown to him by these women. I am pleased he at least admitted his crimes and will now serve a lengthy sentence behind bars."

Police were called at 18:41hrs on Monday, 29 July 2013 to a flat in Elstead House, Redlands Way, SW2, following reports that a woman had been stabbed.

Officers, the London Ambulance Service and London's Air Ambulance attended and found Joan Wade, partner of Brooks, on the sofa in the living room. Their three-year-old son was also there.

Joan, then aged 46, had suffered severe injuries. She managed to tell one of the first police officers on the scene that her "baby father" - Desmond Brooks - had carried out the assault.

Brooks had gone to the flat they shared and in an entirely unprovoked attack, inflicted severe injuries on Joan. Several knives were recovered from the scene.

Joan received several cuts to the back of her head, one of which penetrated through her neck into her mouth. Her jaw was broken and the bones in her hands had been crushed with several of her fingers severed.

She was taken to hospital in a critical condition but made a recovery following reconstructive surgery.

Just 20 minutes after the first incident, a further 999 call was received at 19:01hrs to an incident at a flat at Pearce House, Tilson Gardens SW2.

Officers discovered Saffron Yeboah-Simpson, then aged 17, with a number of severe cuts to her face, head and wrists. She told officers Brooks had attacked her.

Police then found the body of Keisha McKenzie inside the hallway. She had very severe stab wounds and her teeth had been smashed.

She was pronounced dead at 19:31hrs.

Brooks and Keisha's seven-year-old son was also at the scene, having witnessed the attack on his mother

A post-mortem examination later showed Keisha had died from multiple stab wounds caused by several knives.

Brooks had fled both scenes and a manhunt involving local and specialist officers was launched.

Enquiries revealed Brooks had posted BBM messages stating he had attacked two people and was going to attack two more and then "have a party".

At 00:03hrs Brooks boarded a bus around Streatham Common North. He said to the driver: "The first police you see, could you flag them down. It's me they're looking for."

When the driver asked him to explain, Brooks admitted he had just murdered his wife.

The driver flagged down the first police vehicle he saw and Brooks were arrested on the bus at Leigham Court Road, SW16.

He told officers he had killed his wife and hurt his baby mother. He said: "I couldn't take it anymore both nagging me everyday, disrespecting me in front of others, couldn't take it anymore man, couldn't take it anymore."

Brooks was taken into custody and interviewed about his BBM messages. He said he hadn’t injured anyone else and he was subsequently charged.

= Brooks was sentenced as follows:

- life imprisonment with a minimum of 29 years for the murder of Keisha McKenzie;
- 19 years' imprisonment for the attempted murder of Joan Wade;
- 12 years' imprisonment for GBH with intent against Saffron Yeboah-Simpson.

All sentences to run concurrently.

The family of Keisha and Saffron today said: "After 20 months the family of Keisha McKenzie are satisfied that we finally have some justice for Keisha.

"We have lost Keisha forever but no amount of years will bring back the loving mother and bubbly, smiley daughter, auntie and sister that we all knew and loved.

"We would like to thank the investigating team and all who have supported us during this traumatic and difficult time."

NOT FOR PUBLICATION: Images of Brooks and Keisha are available from the press bureau website www.met.police.uk/pressbureau (ref: pic 4 mdr61-13/McKenzie / McKenzie2 / Brooks)