A mentally ill man has been detained in a secure psychiatric hospital indefinitely after being convicted of stabbing his neighbour to death.
Daniel Burrell, 40, killed 54-year-old Barrington Davis in his own home in late April 2019, the Old Bailey heard.
Mr Davis’ body was discovered by the police on May 16, 2019 after Burrell, who lived in the flat below, alerted officers of a bad smell coming from the property.
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(Image: Met Police)
Officers forced their way into the bedsit in Lewisham, South London, and found the decomposing body of Mr Davis, who had clearly been dead for some time.
Prosecutor Gareth Patterson QC told jurors: “At first it was thought that the death had not been suspicious.
“However, when Mr Davis’s body was later examined at the mortuary it was discovered that he had in fact been stabbed, multiple times, in what appears to have been a one-sided and savage knife attack.”
It was later discovered that the victim had suffered a total of 16 stab wounds.
Just two days after the man’s body was discovered, police arrested Burrell on suspicion of murder.
He was released under investigation, but was eventually charged with his neighbours murder in November 2019.
The prosecution alleged that the defendant’s fingerprint was found on the victim’s glasses, which came off in the attack.
Burrell’s DNA was also identified on the victim’s bloodstained fingernails, jurors were told.
The defendant, who has paranoid schizophrenia, denied killing his neighbour but declined to give evidence in his trial.
A jury at the Old Bailey found him guilty of manslaughter by diminished responsibility, and Judge Philip Katz QC handed him a hospital order without limit of time.
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A spokesperson for Mr Davis family said: “Barrington was an intelligent, well-dressed, music-loving, funny and caring father, brother and uncle, who we will all miss dearly.
“The verdict of manslaughter has brought some form of closure to our family, and although this won’t bring Barrington back, we feel as though justice has prevailed. There will always be a void left in our hearts.”
Detective Inspector Jo Sidaway, of Scotland Yard, said: “We may never know the circumstances surrounding his death and it saddens me to leave his loved ones with so many questions unanswered. I hope that they find a measure of closure now that legal proceedings are at an end.
“I agree with the verdict and the sentence handed down and am relieved that Daniel Burrell will now receive the medical help that he needs in an environment where he is not a danger to others.”