CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Casino killing: Friends say victim was ‘lovely guy’

Abraham Haile, 56, died during a violent incident in City Slots arcade

20 August, 2020 — By Bronwen Weatherby

City Slots where Mr Haile was pronounced dead

DEVASTATED friends of a man who was killed in a Camden Town fruit machine casino have described him as a “generous” and “lovely guy”.

Abraham Haile, 56, died after an incident in City Slots on Camden High Street last month. Detectives have since charged a 21-year-old man with the murder.

Hichame Karkar, 43, who had known Mr Haile for around a decade, said: “He was just a really nice, polite and lovely guy. Everyone who ever met him would say the same. He’d do anything for you. If you needed a favour, he’d help you out.”

Mr Haile, who lived in Camden Town, is said to have worked as a long-time chauffeur for a group of wealthy Arab business people in London, and was often seen driving top-of-the-range cars including Rolls Royces, Bentleys and Mercedes.

Mr Karkar said: “I’d known him a long time after meeting him in a pub where we were watching football about 10 years ago. He was originally from Ethiopia but had been here a long time. He had lots of friends and he would always invite people out for a drink or food and he would insist on paying. That’s just what he was like.”

Police and paramedics were called to the arcade late on July 28, but Mr Haile was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Abraham Haile

Mr Karkar said: “Many of us are so upset at what’s happened.

“The day I heard what had happened I couldn’t stop shaking and I found it hard to sleep. One of my friends who knew him feels scared to leave the house now. It’s so scary to think this can happen to one of your friends, because maybe it can happen to you.”

Another friend, Roy Alexander, 58, who lives in Camden Town, said: “He was a good person, a hard worker and very generous. He wouldn’t have hurt a fly – he was a big man but he was like a gentle giant.”

He added: “I’d known him for about 15 years after we met when I used to be an Evening Standard salesman. He came up to me one day and we just started talking. I feel like the whole of Camden knew him, he had a lot of friends.

“Everyone’s just so shocked at what happened to him, we can’t believe it. His family must be devastated.”

Mr Haile was also friendly with the staff and customers at Ferreira Delicatessen in Delancey Street. Owner Germano Correia said: “He was always very polite and you could tell he was a good man.”

  • Abel Mery Berhany, of Waltham Forest, who has been charged with Mr Haile’s murder, appeared at the Old Bailey earlier this month via video link but has not yet entered a plea. The court was told he would need an interpreter to help him follow the proceedings.

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