“I know exactly when I developed cancer – when I saw my son dead on the street”

Pamela Humphrey says she knows the precise moment that she developed breast cancer.

It was when the mum-of-three was standing over her son’s body in a street in Harlesden, north west London.

Oliver Tetlow, 27, died after he was shot with a machine gun in a drive-by shooting as he waited outside a shop for his friend on March 9, 2016.

It was a horrific case of mistaken identity that claimed Pamela’s innocent son – her only son.

Tuesday marked the fifth anniversary of his death and no one has ever been convicted of his killing.

Sadly over those five years Pamela has been diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer.

Despite surgery and chemotherapy it has spread and she is now battling stage 4 liver cancer.

The 51-year-old said: “I know exactly when I developed my cancer – it was when I saw Oliver dead on the street.

“I stood there and I felt a pain in my breast. That was the cancer.

“I refuse to let this cancer kill me because I want to get justice for my son. It is now five years since he died and his killers are still walking the streets.”

Before Pamela was given the devastating news that she had breast cancer, four men had been acquitted in court of killing her son in 2017.

She had been forced to move from her home in Harlesden for own protection and was living in a hotel at the time.

“I didn’t want to move but since my son had been murdered I was told I must,” she said.

“My son was waiting outside a shop for a friend when he was killed. He usually goes inside the shop and if he had he would still be alive.

“I have lost my only son and I can’t let this cancer kill me because I need to be alive to see the people who murdered him locked up.”

Pamela, who has two daughters and two grandchildren, had developed a persistent cough but thought it was a stubborn cold until she saw an advert on TV.

“The stress of losing my only son put my body into shock,” she said.

“I had surgery to remove my lymph nodes and had two rounds of chemotherapy but they have had to stop it because I was so stressed about his killers still walking freely in the street.

“I am taking chemotherapy tablets instead, I also suffer from lupus and have had a stroke so everyday I have to swallow a cocktail of medication to keep me alive.

“I also have to have an injection in my stomach every four weeks.”

Doctors had initially told Pamela she was cancer free after they removed her lymph nodes in March 2019 but she said she knew something wasn’t right.

She said: “Within weeks I started getting pain in my back, was nauseous and couldn’t stop vomiting so I knew the cancer was still there. I was told it was liver cancer and it was stage four.”

Doctors removed two tumours from Pamela’s liver and she is currently awaiting tests to see if the surgery has been a success.

“Once I beat this cancer I will concentrate wholly on finding my son’s killers,” she said.

The turmoil of losing her son and fighting cancer has taken a toil on Pamela’s mental health which culminated in a failed suicide bid.

She said: “First one cancer and then another – it just became too much for me.

“I felt like the devil was trying to stop me from getting justice for my son.

“I tried counselling but I found it made things worse but I am stronger now and am ready for whatever obstacles are thrown my way.”

As part of her mission to get justice for her son, Pamela plans to do a series of podcasts about the murder in the hope that witnesses will come forward.

She said: “My son was completely innocent and killed because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“It’s now five years and people may be more willing to speak up.

“After the men were acquitted I was abandoned by the police as I have not heard a thing from them since so it is up to me to make sure people don’t forget about Oliver.

“I am begging anyone out there who knows who killed my son to speak up. They might have children themselves and need to think how would they feel if they lost the child the way I lost Oliver.

“Oliver was my only son.

“I will beat this cancer so I can justice for my only son. I want to be there in court when I see his killers jailed for taking away my boy.”

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: “The murder of Oliver Tetlow remains unsolved and will not be closed until those responsible are identified.

“Oliver had simply been going about his business on the night he was targeted and gunned down in what we still believe was a case of mistaken identity.

“We understand that Oliver’s tragic death is a constant source of pain for his loved ones, and not knowing who did this to him only makes that pain sharper. I would urge anyone who has any knowledge about what happened to do the right thing and speak up.

“Any further information or evidence that comes to light will be assessed and investigated accordingly, and we will ensure Oliver’s family are made aware of any developments.