Detectives are appealing for information after a gang armed with baseball bats murdered a 34-year-old father outside a pub in what police believe was a case of mistaken identity.
Christopher Foster, who had a four-year-old daughter, was having a cigarette with a friend in an alleyway outside St Christopher’s Inn in Borough High Street, south-east London, when he was set upon by the gang.
Witnesses say they saw as many as seven suspects wearing hooded clothing and carrying baseball bats and at least one knife. Officers were called to the scene at about 11.45pm on Friday and Mr Foster, from Walworth, south-east London, was taken to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, where he died early on Saturday morning.
A 32-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender. She remains in custody.
Detectives are open-minded about the motive and no arrests have yet been made. However, Detective Chief Inspector John Sandlin said there were strong indications to suggest that Mr Foster was mistaken for someone else.
“At this stage of our investigation, this appears to be a case of mistaken identity,” he said.
“I am keen to identify a group of males who were seen running from St Christopher’s Inn along Borough High Street towards Elephant and Castle immediately after the stabbing.”
Yesterday tributes were paid to Mr Foster, who worked in administration for a firm of lawyers in London.
One former colleague wrote on Twitter: “Sad to hear about the death of Chris Foster, we worked at the same firm a few years back. A really nice guy and such a waste of a life.”
Terry Keane wrote on Twitter: “So sad absolutely gutted that such a nice bloke has been taken so cruelly, my thoughts are with his Daughter & Family.”
A post-mortem examination is due to be held today. Anyone with information is asked to contact the police incident room on 020 8345 3865.