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Local newspaper reporter found dead

A South London Press journalist has been found dead at home.

Deputy sports editor Rajbir Johal, (34), was found by his wife Harjit after she returned from a weekend away.

Police were called to their Tooting home on Monday, at around 4.50pm, and have confirmed the death as suspicious.

A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as inconclusive. Further tests are to be carried out.

Raj, (right), joined the South London Press from the Kentish Times in 1999. He qualified from the London School of Journalism with a distinction in 1995.

He was the South London Press’s Charlton Athletic FC reporter, and was also the paper’s boxing and Surrey Cricket Club correspondent, bringing extensive knowledge in all three areas to his writing. During his time, he developed close contacts with stars of the ring including Danny Williams, Lloyd Honeyghan and David Haye.

Editor Hannah Walker said in her newspaper blog: “At just 34 years old Raj had his whole life ahead of him. He was a very clever young man who happened to be an exceptionally talented journalist.

“His role as our deputy sports editor meant he had one of the best jobs at the South London Press, actually he probably had one of the best jobs anywhere.

“He covered Charlton and absolutely loved it. He also loved the cricket and enjoyed the boxing – but could pretty much turn his hand to anything.

“As he told me on many occasions, on the quiet and in his cheeky fashion, Hannah I could work anywhere, I could leave tomorrow, but I love it here, I am doing what I like.’ Not only was he naturally talented – but he had charisma.

“He was quick-witted, very funny and very clever, he was exceptionally well liked and his loss is devastating to everyone, his family, friends and colleagues.”

Read Hannah’s full tribute to her colleague here.