NI man’s murderer awaiting sentence

editorial image

A man who stabbed his friend to death on a London bus is currently awaiting sentence.

John Doherty pleaded guilty on Tuesday, on the first day of his Old Bailey trial, to murdering Archie Sheppard, who was aged 48 and reportedly from Ballyclare in Co Antrim.

The pair had been drinking together, then boarded a bus in the early hours of April 28 last year, before Mr Sheppard was subjected to a sustained attack.

Paramedics were called to the bus in Gloucester Place in Marylebone, central London, but Mr Sheppard – who had lived in Neasden, in the city’s north west – was pronounced dead at the scene.

Doherty, 39, was arrested in Neasden the following day and was found to be carrying two knives.

Police said Doherty launched his attack while his friend was asleep on the bus.

Mr Sheppard woke and tried to fend him off but suffered a large stab wound to the leg. Doherty then fled.

Detective Inspector Simon Deefholts, of Scotland Yard, said: “The motive for Archie Sheppard’s murder remains unclear.

“Only John Doherty can say why he chose to murder Archie in such a cowardly and brutal manner while Archie was defenceless, asleep on a bus.

“The overwhelming evidence gathered by my team left Doherty with no option other than to admit his guilt in court.

“Doherty is a dangerous man who routinely chose to arm himself with knives.”

Doherty, of Fulham in south-west London, also admitted three counts of possessing an offensive weapon.

He is to be sentenced by Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC on Friday.