FedEx driver who stabbed boss over pay got wages hour before stabbing - court

Philip Woodcock
Philip Woodcock was pronounced dead at the scene

A FedEx worker stabbed his boss to death, claiming he had not been paid just an hour after his wages had been settled, a court has heard.

Philip Woodcock, 60, died of his injuries at the FedEx warehouse in Hellaby, Rotherham, on 2 November 2022.

Sheffield Crown Court was told delivery driver Roland Sekanjako reportedly insisted he had not been paid before stabbing Mr Woodcock in the heart.

Mr Sekanjako, 49 and of Bellhouse Road, Sheffield, denies murder.

At a previous hearing, Mr Sekanjako also pleaded not guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and three counts of possession of an offensive weapon.

Opening the case at Sheffield Crown Court on Monday, prosecutor Katherine Goddard, KC, called it "the cruellest of ironies" that led to the death of Mr Woodcock.

Ms Goddard told the jury that in the morning of 2 November 2022, the defendant arrived at the parcel distribution centre in Rother Way, Hellaby, armed with two knives and a hammer.

Mr Sekanjako is then said to have walked upstairs to the open plan office and "began demanding money" and claimed he was being racially discriminated against.

Ms Goddard said the situation "continued to escalate" until Mr Woodcock came to speak to Mr Sekanjako.

She said Mr Woodcock attempted to establish which invoice Mr Sekanjako was referring to and invited him into his office to discuss the matter.

Ms Goddard said that upon entering Mr Woodcock's office, Mr Sekanjako locked the door behind him.

She said concerned colleagues then tried to force their way in before watching "in growing horror" as the defendant raised a knife and struck out at Mr Woodcock.

One colleague eventually managed to prise open the door, Ms Goddard said, preventing the knife from striking again.

According to the prosecution, the man, who suffered a minor injury to his thumb, managed to "drag" an injured Mr Woodcock out of the office.

Despite efforts to save his life, Mr Woodcock was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:38 GMT that morning.

Police body cam footage played in court showed Mr Sekanjako handcuffed and searched by officers.

When confronted by a member of staff about what had happened, Mr Sekanjako replied: "Pay me my money."

Ms Goddard said: "That is the cruellest of ironies in that case: that invoice [of £719.82] was paid.

"That invoice was paid over an hour before Philip Woodcock was stabbed, over an hour before Roland Sekanjako was standing in the office insisting that he be paid."

Ms Goddard said an investigation into payments Mr Sekanjako received during his employment concluded he had "almost without fail" been paid within the terms of his contract.

Ms Goddard said police also investigated Mr Sekanjako's racism claims but found no record of any complaints.

Mr Sekanjako, who only spoke to confirm his name during Monday's hearing, denies murder.

The trial continues.

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