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Family's anger as CCTV footage of man's death is lost

PUBLISHED: 12:40 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:18 07 September 2010

THE final moments of a man fatally injured in Camden Town will remain a mystery because of vital gaps in CCTV footage. Kevin Jessup, 44, died after being found unconscious in Harmood Street around 6.30am on December 21 last year. The father of three s cas

THE final moments of a man fatally injured in Camden Town will remain a mystery because of vital gaps in CCTV footage.

Kevin Jessup, 44, died after being found unconscious in Harmood Street around 6.30am on December 21 last year.

The father of three's cash card and mobile phone were missing and the cause of death was put down to a blood clot caused by a severe head injury.

Four people were arrested on suspicion of his murder but no charges were ever brought. An inquest at St Pancras Coroner's Court on Tuesday heard that attempts to discover the cause of his injury and how his cash card came to go missing had been hampered because CCTV footage had been taped over.

After Coroner Dr Andrew Reid recorded an open verdict, Mr Jessup's family spoke of their frustration at the police investigation.

"If CCTV had been gathered more quickly we may have had enough evidence to prosecute someone," said Mr Jessup's niece Leanne.

Sister Karen Halford said she felt let down by the police investigation. "We are not trying to blame anyone but if someone has committed a crime, whether accidental or intentional, they need to be punished," she said.

The inquest heard that in the early hours of December 21, Mr Jessup and a friend went back to a flat on Farrier Street after a heavy drinking session.

After making inappropriate advances to the flat's owner Delores Clough, a fight broke out and Mr Jessup was hit or headbutted by his friend.

He staggered out of the flat and was found slumped at the bottom of the communal stairwell.

Some time later he left the block with two youths, who had persuaded him to go to the shop. He was seen on CCTV staggering alone down Kentish Town Road but minutes later he was found unconscious in Harmood Street with a fractured skull.

Home Office pathologist Dr Ken Shorrock told the inquest it was likely Mr Jessup had tripped and fallen because he was so drunk.

In recording his verdict, Dr Reid said: "There's no evidence available to show what caused him to slip, trip or fall. It is simply not clear as a result of a lack of CCTV footage. The possibility of him being pushed cannot be excluded. However, it is not for me to determine any criminal liability."

What happened to Mr Jessup, from Sydenham in Kent, is also clouded because his cash card was used by someone else later that night.

The inquest was told the card had been used three times to draw out £250 in total over a matter of minutes around 5.50am on Kentish Town Road.

But because the police did not discover the card, which belonged to his niece, had been missing until two weeks after his death, much of the CCTV footage had already been wiped.

Martin Delaney, one of the youths who had left the flat with Mr Jessup, told the inquest he accompanied the deceased to a cash point and had persuaded him to give him £40 to buy cigarettes and alcohol. But he denied attacking him to get the cash card, which has never been found.

In his summary Dr Reid said: "There was no evidence when the transactions occurred that Mr Jessup had been the victim of a violent assault by third parties.

"There is no evidence that those who had been with him at or about the time of the transactions were present in Harmood Street between 6.15 and 6.30am."

Police have concluded their investigations into Mr Jessup's death.

ben.mcpartland@hamhigh.co.uk


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