‘Sweaty, nervous man dropped bloodied hat’ in field near Surrey train murder
5th January 2019

A knifeman remains on the run after stabbing a stranger to death on a train, police said.

The victim, 51, was on the 12.58 from Guildford, in Surrey, to London Waterloo when he suffered the fatal injury in front of terrified commuters.

He had been travelling with his 14-year-old son yesterday, who is also believed to have witnessed his father’s murder.

Police say the suspect left the train at Clandon station and headed in the direction of Dedswell Drive. The train then pulled into Horsley station.

A resident yesterday said she believed she saw the suspect in West Clandon – half a mile from Clandon station.

Mum Rowena Dodwell called police after she saw a bearded man drop a blood-covered hat in a field.

Posting on the Nextdoor app, she said: “Please be vigilant as I just came across a mid 20s, slim build, black beard, bald suspicious man wearing a black track suit walking around our neighbouring field, very sweaty and nervous.

"He walk (sic) to the bottom then stood in the woodland, walk back up. I asked him what he was doing and he said he had an accident.

"Our road is private and so is the field. He walked off on the phone and didn’t want to chat. There was no reason for him to be there!"

“Called police as he’s dropped a blooded hat in field.”

Another woman who did not want to be named told The Telegraph: "A man was seen in a field. He had no hair on his head but had a black beard. Someone said he had been seen in a field and accosted a woman walking her dog.

"He apparently said to her ‘I am in a lot of trouble’, before he dropped his hat and ran away. The hat was later recovered by the police who are examining it for forensic clues."

Supt Paul Langley, of British Transport Police, said in a statement last night: “Tragically, as a result of this stabbing, a man believed to be 51 years old, was pronounced dead on board the train. Early indications suggest he received multiple stab wounds to his body.

“What we know, at the moment, is the victim boarded the train at around 1pm at London Road station in Guildford, along with his 14-year-old son.

“Traumatically, the victim’s son would have been nearby when his father was fatally wounded.

“We know that the suspect also boarded the service at London Road station, however… we do not believe they are known to each other.”

Police said he is a black man, in his 20s to 30s, 6ft tall and of slim build with a beard, believed to be dressed in black, with white trainers. Officers said he should not be approached.

Officers remained in Clandon and Horsley as they tried to trace the culprit. A police helicopter circled overheard last night as the hunt for the knifeman continued.

One train passenger last night praised rail staff, saying: “I was on this train, how those guards and especially that train driver went into action was nothing short of incredible.”

Witnesses said punches were thrown and the victim was then stabbed in the neck.

One woman passenger, who asked not to be named, said: “There was a lot of blood everywhere in the carriage. I don’t think the poor chap stood a chance.

“The police who were here first started to give him CPR but it was apparently too late to save him and he died while the train was in the station.”

The victim’s body was seen being carried over the station footbridge by police and morgue workers.

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