A 37-year-old man from Mitcham has admitted killing a homeless man from Dagenham before leaving him wearing nothing but boxers in a car park in Ilford.
Adil Mahmood, of London Road, Mitcham, pleaded guilty to arson and the manslaughter of Hassaman Ettakkal, 54, at the Old Bailey, which the prosecution accepted.
Firefighters responded to reports of a car on fire on 29 may at around 5.45am on Castleford Road and on arrival discovered Hassaman’s body five feet from the vehicle.
The man was wearing only boxer shorts and had no burns; he appeared to have been dragged from the vehicle before the fire.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene.
A post mortem carried out the following day gave the cause of death as “blunt force trauma” which ruptured his spleen.
Enquires revealed that the burnt-out BMW had false registration plates and had been used by rough sleepers and drug addicts.
Mahmood was identified as a suspect in the murder a week later after analysis of CCTV records and on June 6 was charged with murder and arson with intent to endanger life.
DS Michael Dougall, who led the investigation, said: “This was a very detailed investigation that required many tireless hours of detailed CCTV research. It was as a result of these extensive enquires that Adil Mahmood was indentified as a suspect.”
“I would like to thank the local community for their patience and resilience whilst lengthy crime scene examinations took place.
“By Mahmood pleading guilty today, he has accepted full responsibility for this terrible act and he will now face the consequences.
“I hope this conviction will bring some solace and closure for Mr Ettakkal’s family.”
Mahmood was remanded for psychiatric reports with a provisional date for sentencing on January 8.