Justice Cruickshank was sentenced to life imprisonment today for the daylight murder of Helen Dillon in Neasden back in May.
The 55-year-old, who will serve a minimum of 22 years, was a friend of Ms Dillon’s estranged partner and had a brief relationship with the 42-year-old woman. He was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court following a two week trial.
On Thursday, May 29 police were called to reports of a stabbing of the woman on Prout Grove. She was taken by ambulance to St Mary’s Hospital where she died shortly after arrival.
With her at the scene her 49-year-old estranged partner was initially arrested on suspicion of her murder, but he was later released and became a significant witness.
Later on that evening Brent Borough officers arrested Cruickshank at his Mandarin Court home not far from the murder scene.
During the investigation detectives from the Homicide and Major Crime Command found that Cruickshank and Helen’s estranged partner had known each other for more than 30 years, and Cruickshank knew Helen from the three years she had been with her partner.
Around three months prior to the murder Helen’s partner fell out with Cruickshank when he found out that Helen and Cruickshank had had a brief relationship whilst under the influence of drink and drugs.
On the day of the murder Helen, who had since moved out, returned to her now estranged partner’s address. Cruickshank, either with Helen or in close timing to her, also attended the address.
This led to an altercation outside in Prout Street between all three eventually ending in Helen being stabbed, by what eye witnesses reported was a black man with a knife witnesses variously described as ‘huge’ or ‘like a sword’. A man later identified as Cruickshank.
The murder weapon has never been recovered despite police searches.
A post mortem examination gave Helen’s cause of death as a single stab wound to the chest.
Throughout his interviews Cruickshank answered ‘no comment’ to all questions put to him. He was subsequently charged with Helen’s murder on 31 May.
Detective Inspector Euan McKeeve, the investigating officer from the Homicide and Major Crime Command, speaking at the conclusion of the trial said:
“This was a horrific attack on Miss Dillon in full view of the general public. Justice Cruickshank showed a total disregard for human life and executed Miss Dillon in broad daylight. I
“I’d like to thank the local community in and around Prout Grove for coming together and providing key witness evidence to help secure today’s conviction. There can be no excuse for Cruickshank’s behaviour and hopefully he’ll now spend the rest of his life incarcerated and reflecting upon his actions on that night.”