Murdered Morden Ladbrokes bookmaker Andrew Iacovou 'was scared of attacks'
A former colleague of the man murdered in the betting shop where he worked has called the killing "inevitable".
North Cheam man Andrew Iacovou was bludgeoned to death as he worked in Ladbrokes in Aberconway Road, Morden, on Saturday.
Police are hunting a suspect who they believe attacked the 55-year-old father of three from Church Hill Road with a hammer in a failed robbery.
A former Ladbrokes employee, who worked under Mr Iacovou at the shop where he was killed, has criticised the chain for allowing its staff to work alone despite regularly receiving threats.
The worker, who left the branch after two years last July, said: "It was inevitable something like this was going to happen.
"I worked there but I left because I was frightened because of all the threats of violence.
"Our area manager knew we were scared but still we regularly had to work alone.
"I was threatened on a near-daily basis. Sometimes it would be sore losers saying ‘why haven’t you paid out on this, when you come out I’m going to smash your face in’, other times it was racial abuse and all sorts.
"A lot of these people had really bad gambling habits and they were sometimes horrible.
"Andrew did his best to support staff but his hands were tied. He had his concerns, he was scared too but he had to work to support his wife and children.
"He would be in the shop for hours by himself. He was only a small guy.
"He had to manage running the shop and looking after his disabled wife and their family. He was always working.
"Everyone said they were scared to work there but if you have to earn a living then you do what you have to do."
Floral tributes have been left outside the shop where Mr Iacovou was killed
The worker, who asked not to be named, said workers would be safer if they were not alone as it would mean robbers would not be able to trick them into opening the door to the counter by claiming they needed help with one of the machines in the main area of the shop, which is what police think happened to Mr Iacovou.
Ladbrokes declined to comment on its working practices but has set up a charity fund for Mr Iacovou's family and donated £10,000 into it. So far, more than £15,000 has been donated. To give money to the fund visit JustGiving.com.
Police want to trace this blood-stained man
Officers are hunting a suspect and have released a picture of a blood-splattered man they want to speak to in connection with the incident. Anyone who sees the man is urged not to approach him as he may be dangerous but should call police on 999.
Anyone with information about the incident or who recognises the man in the picture can call the incident room at Sutton on 020 8721 4054. To remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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