A "fantastic father" was stabbed to death by a stranger in an apparent random attack just metres from his home.

Andrew David Else, 52, died of multiple stab wounds after being repeatedly knifed in Selsdon Park Road on Thursday night.

It is thought Mr Else had been walking to his house in Woodpecker Mount, Pixton Way, in the nearby Forestdale esate, when he was attacked.

Ephraim Norman, 23, of Thornton Heath, was arrested at the scene of the killing on Thursday and charged with murder on Saturday.

Mr Else’s ex-wife yesterday said he “lived for” his three daughters, aged 22, 24 and 26, who live in the Midlands and were said to be “devastated” by his death.

Tracy Jackson said: “Andrew was a fantastic father and would be concerned for his girls at this tragic time.

"His three daughters have had their world torn apart and his father is devastated.”

Neighbours also paid tribute to Mr Else, adding his murder had shocked a usually quiet estate.

One, a 77-year-old man who declined to be named, said: “He was a very pleasant guy, always smiling and happy to say good morning and good night.

“I’ve lived here for 20 years and there has been hardly any trouble. I don’t know what the world is coming to.”

Another neighbour said: "I didn't know his name, but I saw him regularly. He once helped me move a freezer out of my house. He was very pleasant, very polite."

He added: "It's as quiet as a mouse here at night, but it is a cut-through to the main road.

"There was a robbery here about two years ago and that's the first time I've ever heard of a crime here."

Witnesses described desperate attempts by paramedics to save Mr Else's life following the attack, which happened at about 10.30pm near the junction with Farnborough Avenue.

Croydon Guardian:

Croydon Guardian:

Emergency services, above, fight to save Mr Else's life, and, below, police at the scene of the murder on Friday morning

A 40-year-old woman, who lives in Selsdon Park Road and asked not to be named, said: "I looked out and he was lying there on the ground. The police were pumping at his heart.

"Then they put a red blanket over him and carried on pumping. It looked like the man died at about 11.15pm."

She added: "It is shocking. It is literally on my doorstep. They have arrested someone so that is reassuring.

"It is not really a busy place, we never really get any disturbances. You never get people hanging around.

"You hear about gangs and youths and there are a lot of stabbings with them, but he was 52."

A neighbour, aged 50, said: "I saw the man's body in the road. The paramedics were pumping at it.

"It was on the grass at first. They were going to move it to the ambulance but it looked they had to try to do some surgery, something life-saving.

"I think they performed surgery on the pelican crossing. There were three of them working on him but sadly it must not have worked."

She added: "It is terrible, shocking, unbelievable. I have lived her for 20 years and I've seen a few car accidents but nothing like this."

Croydon Guardian:

Officers cordoned off part of Selsdon Park Road after the stabbing

Police moved to reassure the community following the killing, stepping up patrols around Selsdon and stating on Friday that no other suspects were sought.

Chief Superintendent David Musker, Croydon's Borough Commander said on Friday: "This is a tragic incident and our thoughts, first and foremost, are with the victim's family and friends at this time.

"Whilst I cannot discuss any specific details due to the ongoing investigation, at this early stage detectives are not actively looking for any other suspects.

"Alongside the murder investigation, our priority is to reassure the local community in the area and we fully recognise the impact this incident will have on local people."

Mr Norman, of Kensington Avenue, appeared at the Old Bailey yesterday charged with murder.

He was remanded in custody until a plea and case management hearing on August 1, with a trial scheduled for October 6.

Did you know Mr Else? Call the newsdesk on 020 8722 6351 or email chris.baynes@london.newsquest.co.uk


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