Murder #23, Albert Wright, Hainault
Albert Wright, 80, was stabbed to death at his home in Hainault, east London, on Friday, 25 February, 2011. His body was found five hours later when the victim’s son David arrived home on Trelawney Road. Mr Wright was pronounced dead at the scene. Mark Robinson, 35, pleaded guilty to murder on January 16, 2012, and was jailed for life with a minimum of 21 years. The Old Bailey heard Robinson stabbed the widower 31 times to spite David Wright, who had married Robinson’s mother three months before her death.
I was still playing catch up with my project when I arrived in Hainault. I had been away in Afghanistan on assignment and I was rushing around London to the sites where murders had occurred while I was away. Hainault was one of the furthest I had travelled on my project. It was near the end of the Central Line and I had never been there. The walk to Trelawney Road was short from the tube station. The area resembled my own neighbourhood in Arnos Grove. Semi detached houses built in the 1930s lined the quiet if slightly shabby street. The day before I had been in Downham to photograph the house of Pat Jobson, a retired widow who had been killed by a drug addict and now I was at the murder site of a widower killed in a family dispute. Two elderly Londoners killed in their 80s after having survived long lives in London. I had arrived a couple of weeks after the murder had occurred and a few flowers were laying in the forecourt of the house next to a car. As I set up my camera a neighbour from across the street came and asked what I was doing. She asked for some ID to prove I was a photojournalist and satisfied, she told me she had been asked by Wright’s family to look after the house now that it was vacant. She told what had happened without betraying any assumptions of how it could have happened except to say Mr. Wright had been a nice neighbour.
I started photographing from across the street to take in the whole house but as I went along I got closer and closer until I photographed the scene in the photograph above. I sensed that I was being watched by the neighbours and I decided not to step into the forecourt of the house. I stayed behind the fence and gate, photographing from the pavement. It was the first time I felt like I was trespassing. It was a very uneasy feeling. The street was empty of people and it was getting dark but I somehow felt I was intruding. The photograph has a disjointed feel, imperfectly balanced and it probably reflects my uneasiness that day.