Homicide and Mental Illness

Blog Category: The Justice System

Following a series of stories about the number of people killed by mental health patients (1,200 in Britain in a decade, said The Sun), we decided to look at a single year in depth to illustrate the situation in London.

In 2011 there were a total of 119 homicides. Twelve out of those 119 (just under ten per cent) were killed by suspects who were genuinely suffering from a mental illness.

Here are a breakdown of the cases, followed by another nine cases where suspects claimed that their responsibility was diminished by mental illness but were convicted of murder.

Suspect was being treated for mental illness in the community:

Kasey Gordon, 15, was stabbed to death by a man suffering from paranoid schizophrenia in January 2011. The killer was being treated while staying at a care home.

Badi Saleem, 35, was stabbed to death by a a paranoid schizophrenic in May 2011. The killer had been released from a secure hospital the previous year.

Sally Hodkin, 58, was stabbed to death in the street by Nicola Edgington in October 2011. Edgington was a diagnosed schizophrenic and attempted to admit herself to hospital shortly before the attack.

Carmel Charles, 20, was stabbed to death at her home in November 2011 by her partner Richard Henry, a diagnosed schizophrenic. He had stopped taking his medication after being discharged from hospital.

Suspect had undiagnosed/untreated mental illness:

Ram Bhasin, 80, and his lodger Sunil Koosuru, 29, were killed in a house fire started by Mr Bhasin’s son in March 2011. Aaron Bhasin had developed a mental illness after suffering a heart attack.

Clarence Larteh, 23, was stabbed to death in May 2011 by a man suffering from a mental disorder as a result of alcohol dependency.

Sarwat Malik, 60, was stabbed to death by her husband in June 2011. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity after doctors said he was suffering from depression at the time of the attack, but had recovered by the time of trial and was sentenced to a conditional discharge.

Mary Quinn, 81, was strangled by her son in June 2011. Thomas Quinn admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility (depression). The prosecution did not accept the plea but the jury cleared him of murder.

Umesh Chaudhary, 41, was battered to death with a brick by a complete stranger in July 6, 2011. The killer was later diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act.

Maymoun Zarzour, 39, was strangled in his office in September 2011. The killer was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Desbert Welsh, 50, was stabbed to death by his uncle Ezekiel McCarthy in November 2011. McCarthy pleaded guilty to manslaughter due to diminished responsibility (dementia and acute alcohol delirium) and received a suspended sentence.

Suspect’s claims of mental illness rejected by the jury:

Wing Ho, 18, was stabbed to death by his younger brother Andy in January 2011. Andy Ho claimed his responsibility was diminished by mental illness but was convicted of murder.

Lorna Smith, 45, was killed by her ex-boyfriend, who claimed his responsibility was diminished by reason of a split-personality / schizophrenia. He was convicted of murder.

Alan Smith, 63, was stabbed to death in March 2011. His killer claimed his responsibility was diminished by reason of schizophrenia but was convicted of murder.

Zandra Maxwell-Nelson, 24, was stabbed to death by her estranged husband in April 2011. He claimed his responsibility was diminished by reason of his depression but was convicted of murder.

Alice Adams and Tibor Vass, both 20, were stabbed to death in August 2011. Killer Attila Ban claimed he was suffering from mental illness but was convicted of murder.

Sashana Roberts, 24, was stabbed to death by her former partner in September 2011. He claimed he suffered from a mental illness and heard voices telling him to kill her but was convicted of murder.

Charito Cruz, 37, was battered to death by her partner Asad Niazi in September 2011. Niazi claimed diminished responsibility (severe depression) and loss of control.

Richard Ward, 37, was beaten to death in Battersea by Cameron McFly, who claimed to be suffering from a borderline personality disorder.

Ruby Love, 23, was strangled and dumped in a canal by her boyfriend Manzar Juma in December 2011. Juma denied murder on the grounds of loss of control (previously known as ‘provocation’) and diminished responsibility (depression and personality disorder).

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