Man who killed 'friend' as he slept on bus admits murder

Doherty and Sheppard were travelling home on the bus together

Doherty launched the attack at around midnight, with no provocation

Thursday, March 8, 2018

A man who launched a sustained and unprovoked attack on a person he described as 'a friend' while he slept on a bus has pleaded guilty to murder.

John Edward Doherty, 39 and of Fulham, pleaded guilty to the murder of 48-year-old Archie Sheppard following a trial at the Old Bailey.

He also pleaded guilty to three counts of possession of an offensive weapon, one of which he accepts was used to commit the murder.

Doherty will be sentenced at the same court on Friday, 9 March.

The court heard how Doherty had met up with Sheppard during the day on April 27, 2017.

The defendant claimed both men knew each other and drank together on occasions but this claim was never substantiated.

On that day they met up in Willesden and spent the day riding buses before finally boarding a route 189 bus at Brent Cross at around 23:15hrs and headed back into Central London.

Both men went to the top deck of the bus and Doherty sat at the back, while Sheppard fell asleep in a seat a few rows in front.

As the empty bus pulled away from a bus stand in Park Lane on its return journey, Doherty got up from his seat and moved directly behind Sheppard who was still sleeping. At around midnight Doherty produced a knife and launched an unprovoked attack.

Sheppard woke up and attempted to fend off Doherty but the attack continued over the next three minutes. During this, Doherty inflicted a large stab wound to the victim's leg along with several other injuries.

Doherty then fled, boarding a second bus to leave the scene.