A man accused of stabbing a 24-year-old to death as he handed out church leaflets has been charged with murder and possession of a bladed weapon in public.
James Lee, 31, of Doncaster Road, Rotherham, is accused of stabbing 24-year-old Mohamed Issa Koroma to death in Sheffield last Friday.
Mr Lee appeared at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
Police were called to the city centre at approximately 4.30pm on Friday after receiving reports of a stabbing. When officers arrived on the scene, they found Mr Koroma seriously injured. Witnesses say the victim was handing out leaflets for his church at the time of the attack.
Mr Koroma was pronounced dead at around 5.15pm.
Addressing Mr Koroma’s family at the end of the brief court session, District Judge Mrs Naomi Redhouse said: “I appreciate you coming today, and I am so sorry that you had to come.
“I am very sorry for your loss.”
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Murphy of South Yorkshire Police said: “My thoughts are with Mohamed’s family at this very difficult time. It’s hard to fathom the impact this has had on them, his friends and the wider community who are coming to terms with what has happened. Our investigation into this incident continues at pace and our officers remain at the scene as they conduct their enquiries”.
“You might see more of our officers out on patrol across the city centre this weekend- they are there to provide reassurance. If you have any concerns, please do go and speak to them- they are there to help and support you”.
Officer Murphy said the police were keen to hear from anyone who was in the city centre on Friday and might have witnessed what happened.
“We know there may have been people in the area who witnessed the incident, but have yet to come forward with information. You might think your input is insignificant, but any information you have could be crucial for our investigation.
“I’d also ask that people check their CCTV cameras and dashcams for any footage recorded around the time of the incident that might help us. If anyone has any information that might help our officers, please call 101 quoting incident number 585 of 17 September. Alternatively, you can stay completely anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers via their website Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling their UK Contact Centre on 0800 555 111.”
Mr Lee will be remanded in custody, before appearing at Sheffield Crown Court on Wednesday, September 22.