How a single frame of CCTV footage led to police to a murderer who stamped his victim to death

Police officers have revealed how they used a single frame of CCTV footage to track down a man wanted for a murder on a London bus. 

Kirk Wright, then 33, was caught on camera as he stamped and kicked victim Julian Joseph, 36, in a viscous attack on the bus in New Cross, south east London, in March 2018.

Mr Joseph was left with extensive brain damage after suffering 18 separate blows to the head. He died from his injuries in hospital nine days later.

On last night’s episode of The Met: Policing London, viewers watched as officers carefully analysed the bus security footage and determined that Wright had left his palm print on the glass front door. 

Kirk Wright, was caught on camera as he stamped and kicked victim Julian Joseph, 36, in a viscous attack on the bus in New Cross, south east London, in March 2018. He was identified after police noticed he left a hand print on the door (pictured) and used it to track him down

Kirk Wright, was caught on camera as he stamped and kicked victim Julian Joseph, 36, in a viscous attack on the bus in New Cross, south east London, in March 2018. He was identified after police noticed he left a hand print on the door (pictured) and used it to track him down

Kirk Wright, was caught on camera as he stamped and kicked victim Julian Joseph, 36, in a viscous attack on the bus in New Cross, south east London, in March 2018. He was identified after police noticed he left a hand print on the door (pictured) and used it to track him down

Mr Joseph was attacked by Wright (left in the bus CCTV) and an accomplice moments after boarding the Route 53 bus shortly after midnight on 13 March 2018

Mr Joseph was attacked by Wright (left in the bus CCTV) and an accomplice moments after boarding the Route 53 bus shortly after midnight on 13 March 2018

Mr Joseph, pictured, was left with extensive brain damage after suffering 18 separate blows to the head. He died from his injuries in hospital nine days later.

Mr Joseph, pictured, was left with extensive brain damage after suffering 18 separate blows to the head. He died from his injuries in hospital nine days later.

Mr Joseph was attacked by Wright (left in the bus CCTV) and an accomplice moments after boarding the Route 53 bus shortly after midnight on 13 March. Mr Joseph, right, was left with extensive brain damage after suffering 18 separate blows to the head. He died from his injuries

Forensics officers were able to lift the print, leading to Wright’s identification and eventual arrest. Wright is currently serving a life sentence for murder. 

Viewers were overwhelmed by Mr Joseph’s story. 

One tweeted: ‘Watching the video of his brutal attack had me sobbing!!!! Hope they find who did it & get justice. 

Another posted: ‘Utter heartbreak watching the Julian Joseph story, burst into tears, so much love and sympathy for his family.’ 

Mr Joseph was attacked by Wright and an accomplice moments after boarding the Route 53 bus shortly after midnight on 13 March. 

Harrowing CCTV footage showed Mr Joseph lying unconscious on the floor of the London bus following the attack, pictured. Wright fled the scene but later returned to the bus and banged on the door, leaving his palm print on the glass pane. The prints led to his identification

Harrowing CCTV footage showed Mr Joseph lying unconscious on the floor of the London bus following the attack, pictured. Wright fled the scene but later returned to the bus and banged on the door, leaving his palm print on the glass pane. The prints led to his identification

Harrowing CCTV footage showed Mr Joseph lying unconscious on the floor of the London bus following the attack, pictured. Wright fled the scene but later returned to the bus and banged on the door, leaving his palm print on the glass pane. The prints led to his identification

Guided by the CCTV discovery, the forensic team, pictured, were able to lift the hand print

Guided by the CCTV discovery, the forensic team, pictured, were able to lift the hand print

Guided by the CCTV discovery, the forensic team, pictured, were able to lift the hand print

The finger prints were run through the Met's database, pictured, and returned Wright as a match. Officers then cross-referenced the CCTV image of Wright to the one on the system

The finger prints were run through the Met's database, pictured, and returned Wright as a match. Officers then cross-referenced the CCTV image of Wright to the one on the system

The finger prints were run through the Met’s database, pictured, and returned Wright as a match. Officers then cross-referenced the CCTV image of Wright to the one on the system

Watching the footage, an officer noted: ‘Anyone who sees that footage cannot help but be affected. You can see on that footage that the victim doesn’t put up much of a struggle. 

‘He tries to keep the suspect at arm’s length but he doesn’t resist, he doesn’t fight back. 

‘What has prompted this suspect to immediately confront the victim? What has led to this confrontation?’ 

The first move is to circulate an image of the suspect, captured on CCTV, to teams across London in the hope he might be recognised. 

His criminal record revealed he already had a mixture of previous offences, including an assault conviction. Two days later Wright is tracked down to an address in London, pictured

His criminal record revealed he already had a mixture of previous offences, including an assault conviction. Two days later Wright is tracked down to an address in London, pictured

His criminal record revealed he already had a mixture of previous offences, including an assault conviction. Two days later Wright is tracked down to an address in London, pictured

In his police interview Wright (pictured in grey) claimed he attacked Mr Joseph as revenge for a robbery. He was charged with GBH. This was upgraded to murder on the death of Mr Joseph

In his police interview Wright (pictured in grey) claimed he attacked Mr Joseph as revenge for a robbery. He was charged with GBH. This was upgraded to murder on the death of Mr Joseph

In his police interview Wright (pictured in grey) claimed he attacked Mr Joseph as revenge for a robbery. He was charged with GBH. This was upgraded to murder on the death of Mr Joseph

Just 24 hours later DC Sarah Bunting, of Transport Command, revealed a vital discovery had been made. 

She explained: ‘I’ve looked at the CCTV. Once he gets off the bus, the doors close. The driver shuts the doors. 

‘Then he [Wright] turns around and tries to get back on the bus. So he puts a hand print on the right-hand door – and you can see that quite obviously on the CCTV.’

Wright returned to the bus moments after fleeing the scene and banged on the door, leaving his hand print. 

Mr Joseph's devastated mother, pictured, told how her son's father was murdered when Mr Joseph was just a toddler. She felt justice had been served when Wright was convicted

Mr Joseph's devastated mother, pictured, told how her son's father was murdered when Mr Joseph was just a toddler. She felt justice had been served when Wright was convicted

Mr Joseph’s devastated mother, pictured, told how her son’s father was murdered when Mr Joseph was just a toddler. She felt justice had been served when Wright was convicted

Viewers were overwhelmed by Mr Joseph's story and took to Twitter to express their sympathy

Viewers were overwhelmed by Mr Joseph's story and took to Twitter to express their sympathy

Viewers were overwhelmed by Mr Joseph’s story and took to Twitter to express their sympathy

Guided by the CCTV discovery, the forensic team were able to lift the hand print. 

DC Bunting continued: ‘You can see a palm print on the outside. No one really touches the outside. There are no other prints visible on the panes of glass on the front.’ 

The finger prints were run through the Met’s database and return Wright as a match. 

Officers then cross-referenced the CCTV image of Wright to the one already on the system and confirmed it was the same man. 

His criminal record revealed he already had a mixture of previous offences, including an assault conviction for an attack with striking similarities to the one on the bus. 

Two days later Wright is tracked down to an address in London. In his police interview Wright claimed he attacked Mr Joseph as revenge for a robbery. 

He claimed Mr Joseph had been part of a group of men who broke into his house.

Wright was charged with GBH which was upgraded to murder when Mr Joseph dies from his injuries days nine days after the attack. 

Wright was convicted of murder following trial.