Victim: Darren Deslandes

UPDATE: Mad News originally reported that Junior Deslandes had also succumbed to his injuries.  However I have now been informed (via a flurry of angry emails) that younger brother James has posted on his Facebook page that Junior is thankfully still with us. 

I should have followed my initial instincts, waited for the family to release an official statement and ignored the words of  sources, along with the statement that was later forwarded to me via email and to other recipients  that claimed he had passed away.  

I therefore apologise for the distress the original post may of caused the Deslandes family and Junior’s friends.  

Rest In Peace Darren Deslandes.


The is absolutely heartbreaking!  

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Deslandes family. 

Press Release 

The Deslandes family is issuing this press release in order to set the record straight regarding their family and the events surrounding the cowardly shooting which left 34yr old Darren Deslandes dead and his 25yr old brother, Wintworth [Junior] Deslandes,  remains in the Critical Care Unit. 

This is a well educated, hardworking, upstanding and loving family who have provided a foster home for nine children.  Darren Deslandes was a Leasehold Housing Officer for SLFHA (formerly known as a South London Family Housing Association) for whom he was employed for ten  years.  Junior Deslandes worked in the family pub, the Newton Arms.  

Darren attended Dulwich College for his GCSEs, Richmond Upon Thames College for A-levels, and to Brunnel  University.  Junior attended Trinity School Croydon and works as an Estate Agent as well as at the family pub.    

Neither Darren nor Junior have ever been arrested, nor have either of them ever had a shred of involvement with any violent or criminal behavior. 

Darren and Junior Deslandes are the children of Wintworth, Sr. and  Lurline Deslandes.  Wintworth, Sr. worked in the City for 25 years as an insurance underwriter.  In 1999  Mr. and Mrs. Deslandes bought and became pub landlords of the Newton Arms in Queen’s Road, Thornton Heath.  They turned the then-struggling Newton Arms into a popular and well-loved community pub renowned for its family atmosphere. A friendly place that was a home away from home for regular patrons who were of all ages and races.  “Was” because now that has all been destroyed by a callous act of senseless violence by what can only be described as a devout coward. 

The Deslandes family hosted a private party to celebrate New Year’s Eve this year with extended family, friends and pub regulars, all of whom were welcome to bring guests.  Unfortunately, one regular patron brought his nephew with him, the man who later murdered Darren in cold blood and has left Junior fighting for his life. 

The night had proceeded with festive cheer until around 4am on New Year’s Day.  The Murderer was arguing with another guest who was attending the party when Junior attempted to calm the situation.  The Murderer picked up a bottle to hit Junior so Darren and Junior forcibly removed him from the pub, at which point he ran to a vehicle and drove off quickly.  

Not liking the manner in which the Murderer ran off, Wintworth, Sr. immediately announced that the pub was closed and everyone should promptly exit the establishment in case the angry young man returned. 

Before all the guests had left, and while the Deslandes family were still locking and cleaning up, the Murderer returned asking where his uncle was.  Darren and Junior, with their family standing behind them, repeatedly informed him that his uncle had left and that he should go home.  

The Murderer then pulled out a gun.  Darren and Junior attempted to grab his arms to prevent him from firing the gun on their family and pushed the Murderer to the front door where the Murderer managed to turn the gun on them and shot Darren in the head and the shoulder and Junior in the head, neck and shoulder.  

 The Murderer fled towards the back of the pub when Wintworth, Sr. attempted to stop him with a broken bottle.  The Murderer pointed the gun directly at Wintworth, Sr. and pulled the trigger but there were no more bullets, so he struck Wintworth, Sr. with the gun butt and fled out the back. 

At this point, Darren had stopped breathing and Wintworth, Sr. successfully resuscitated him before rushing over to attend to Junior, who was barely breathing.  Then Darren started choking on his own blood and Wintworth Sr. was unable to resuscitate him again. 

Darren’s fiancé, Abigail, had called the police immediately after the Murderer brandished his gun.  When they arrived, they prevented the paramedics from entering the pub for 30 minutes, claiming that they wanted to make sure the premises were secure despite everyone in the pub telling the police that the Murderer had fled out of the back of the pub.  

Darren, already deceased, was taken off by the ambulance first.  Junior was not taken off by the ambulance until a full hour after he was shot.  Neither of the men’s parents were allowed to accompany their sons in the ambulance. 

The family is disgusted at the spiteful, heartless behaviour of the police when they arrived.  They treated the whole family like they were criminals and stood by emotionless as Junior slipped into a coma.  In addition to contributing to the worsening of Junior’s condition, they have caused the Deslandes family unnecessary additional heartache by feeding the rabid, racist elements in the tabloid press with their treatment of the victims of this tragedy. 

The Sun ran a disgraceful article packed with lies, describing the crime as a “wild west shoot out.” 

The Deslandes family formally demand a full apology from The Sun and a full retraction of the cruel lies they have spread about the Murder of one innocent, law abiding young man and the attempted murder of another .  

Wintworth and Leline have a third son, James, age 13.  He witnessed the Murder of his eldest brother.  His other brother is fighting for his life and his parents areirreconcilably devastated. 

At this time, the Cowardly Murderer has not been caught.  

The conduct of the police so far has been immeasurably disrespectful and offensive to the victims of this terrible crime.  They even went as far as using deceit to isolate 13 yr old James in order to inform him his eldest brother was dead and to question him about the shooting without his parents present.  The family can only feel pity and shame for whoever made the decision to treat a 13 yr old like this, let alone for allowing gunshot victims to drown in their own blood.  The same goes for every officer who obeyed these decisions.  The very least the police can do at this time is catch the coward who committed this vicious and unprovoked crime and convict him. 

This family has been broken into pieces.  They’ve lost one son and the other is fighting for his life.  They cannot continue to live and work in their pub.  This is a tragedy for the family, their friends and the whole community.  

One thing we do know to be true is that Darren and Junior Deslandes are heroes to their family and friends – they put themselves on the line and Darren lost his life in protecting his family while Junior’s life is hanging in the balance.  The Deslandes family wish to express their sincere gratitude to every single person who has expressed their support and condolences.  The family would also like to ask everyone to continue to pray for Junior to have a full recovery and for Wintworth, Lurliine and James to somehow find a way to put their lives back together.R.I.P. Darren Deslandes – 11th July 1975 – 1st January 2010. 

30 year Lobsang Hassan (of no fixed address) has since been charged with murder and attempted murder. 

 I see that the Metropolitan Police are still up to their old tricks. I guess they didn’t learn anything from the pointless MacPherson Report, which basically told us black folk what we already knew!  

People really need to open their eyes in this country and acknowledge the ugliness that lurks beneath. Racism hasn’t gone anywhere folks!!!! The hate is still there!!!   

The behaviour exhibited by the police personnel at the scene sickens me, but we all know they will go unpunished don’t we?   

And as for all those media outlets who decided to print lies instead of the actual facts I hope you are proud of yourselves.  

Rest In Peace Darren Deslandes.

24 replies »

  1. Oh my God, that poor family. When I read the press release a few days ago I said a prayer hoping that their second son would make a full recovery and now this..

    I can’t even begin to imagine what they’re all going through now. I can’t even put into words what I feel for the Metropolitan Police and just thank God daily that I don’t find myself in a position where I’m forced to call them for supposed help!

    However, I’m glad they’ve done something right and have caught the bastard who has ripped this family’s life apart. Let’s hope the judicial system doesn’t give him a ridiculous sentence.

  2. Is it true Junior has passed? It’s just that no one else is reporting this at the moment. I really hope not.



  4. According to the younger brother this is not true. He has put this on the Facebook tribute page in the last 15 mins.
    This website should be closed down for reporting lies like this that could hurt a lot of people.

  5. sorry to the fam… but janice miss madnews meant well!!!!
    so dont take it to heart please…
    she’s just trying to spread the message!!! the correct message that they were an upstanding family and not connected to gun crime etc…

  6. @tyiscloser

    Thanks for the support.

    I hope that people in general have enough good sense to realise that.

    Mad News isn’t The Sun or the other mainstream publications who with the help from the police went out of their way to drag the family’s good name through the mud.

  7. I don’t understand how you can get a flurry of angry messages, when you are relaying a statement RELEASED by the family and in support, as an alternative to the mainstream tabloids. Getting put the message and information to a wider range of people, and a mistake was made, not maliciously or with ill intent

    I swear some people *Shakes head*

  8. @D

    Do actually believe that I posted that news to be malicious?? I made a mistake by posting that information but it wasn’t done maliciously, and if you believe it was then you obviously neglected to read the entire post.

    This site should be closed down? A site that’s showing support to the family by putting their story out there – Really???

    Are you also calling for The Sun to be closed down?

  9. Janice these people are ignorant, who even knows if they even know the family or are just trolls??

    If they are friends of the family they need to learn how to read and fully comprehend, instead of googling and trawling the internet, ready to strike.
    Why don’t you exert your anger against the police authority/ the british media etc. Instead of a black british blog?????

    And this is why people stay sad at the state of the black community in Britain. What nonsense.

  10. @zozo

    “Why don’t you exert your anger against the police authority/ the british media etc. Instead of a black british blog?????”

    Exactly! While they are there attacking/focusing on this blog the police/British media are busy plotting.

  11. Apologies to the family.
    Mad news made a mistake and most importantly apologised, and owned up to it without trying to cover it up. I am not surprised that a flurry of angry messages have come your way, some may have been genuinely offended but also you must remember that some people dislike the reality that this blog shows, so they would happily wait for you to slip. I have yet to see anyone woman up or man up the way that you have. It couldn’t have been easy but you did it anyway with sincerity.

  12. Breathe people…
    This well intended post is swiftly becoming a crabs in the barrell soap opera-don’t do it to yourselves!

  13. I knew Darren, & yes the Sun should be made to apologise for it’s slander & lies about the family, if not then yes it should be closed down.
    A lot of people were hurt by what was put on this blog….At all times do you not think if it involves a possible death that you should confirm it with the family first before posting it?
    As for exerting my anger at the police, I lost all faith in the police system & all respect for them when my husband got shot in 1997

  14. I totally agree. I should have waited for that confirmation from the family first. As I said in the post I should have gone with my initial instincts (which I usually do when it concerns news of this nature) first and not taken the word of an individuals who know the family (but obviously got their facts wrong) and the emailed press release that was forwarded to me with the added info stating his passing.

    It was a mistake to take that as being fact. I apologise again for that.

  15. A very sad story and very tragic story. I cannot imagine the pain that the family must be going through. My prayers go out to them especially Junior.

    Rest in peace Darren.

  16. and i hope this ends here!
    the family have more important things to be doing!!!
    we SUPPORT YOU!!
    a mistake was made and apologised for IMMEDIATELY..
    now lets move on!!!folks!!!

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January 2010
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