Appeal ten years on from mistaken identity murder

Katherine Johnston (14 September, 2020)

Ricardo Cunha was shot on September 11, 2010

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The family of a man who was shot to death in his bedroom ten years ago have launched a renewed appeal with a £30,000 reward for any information that can help bring his killers to justice, writes Kit Heren…

Ricardo Cunha was watching TV at home with his girlfriend in Pondfield House, Elder Road, West Norwood on the evening of September 11, 2010. He heard a knock at the door at around 11.30pm and went to investigate.

When Mr Cunha leaned out of the front window, a gunman shot him in the head.  He was dead within half an hour, despite the efforts of the London Ambulance Service.

A later post-mortem confirmed that the gunshot wound killed him. Police believe the murder was a case of mistaken identity. 

A 1924 Webley Mark Six Revolver, which officers believe could have been stolen before being used to shoot Mr Cunha, was used a day later in a shooting in Picton House on the Clapham Park Estate in Brixton. No one was injured in that incident.

Police, Mr Cunha’s mother, Maria, and his sister Liliana hope that the ten-year anniversary of his death could prompt people who have any information to speak up. The £30,000 reward is for any information that leads to a suspect being arrested, charged and prosecuted.

Maria said: “Ten years have passed since we lost our boy and we still don’t have answers about what happened and why his life was taken so cruelly.

“Nothing will bring our Ricardo back to us but I want whoever did this to my son to pay for what they did.

“I appeal to anyone who knows or heard anything about what happened to approach the police and help us find some closure to this pain.

“Ricardo was such a lovely young boy, he was always ready to help everyone, always there for us and his friends. He treated everyone with respect either young or old, he spoke to everyone with kindness.

“So I don’t know why on earth someone would do this to Ricardo. He had all his life ahead of him, so many plans for that life, and it was all stolen from him.

“Ten years have passed but there is still not a day that goes by that we don’t cry at not having our Rick here with us. I strongly appeal to anyone out there that has information to come through for us and help us bring a close to all this pain.”

Detective Sergeant Matt Flynn of the Met’s Specialist Crime Command said: “Ricardo’s death has devastated his family. In just thirty minutes on that fateful day in 2010, his family lost him, and their future with him, forever.

“They have spent ten years hoping that someone would feel compelled to do the right thing and admit what they have done. 

“Coming to terms with Ricardo’s loss has been an agonising struggle for his family, but not knowing who by, or why his life was taken is something they will never comprehend.

“The systems in place for providing police with information have significantly moved on since Ricardo’s death. 

“Anyone who knows the killer’s identity can choose to remain anonymous by providing the information to Crimestoppers who don’t work for police and do not share contact details. In addition, they don’t even ask for your name or record your IP address.

“I know that someone knows who shot this innocent man in his own home. With the passage of time allegiances can change and I am directly appealing to those people who, for whatever reason, did not come forward at the time, to use this opportunity to give us the information now. Any information provided, no matter how small, is treated in the strictest of confidence.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the incident room on 0208 721 4005, call 101 or Tweet @MetCC. To remain 100% anonymous call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers_uk.org

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