Man admits stabbing to death four members of same family in Bermondsey

·2-min read
Court artist sketch of Joshua Jacques in the dock at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in April (Elizabeth Cook/PA) (PA Wire)
Court artist sketch of Joshua Jacques in the dock at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in April (Elizabeth Cook/PA) (PA Wire)

A man has admitted stabbing to death four members of the same family at a home in south London, but denies murder.

Joshua Jacques, 28, has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of NHS worker Dolet Hill, 64, her partner Denton Burke, 58, their daughter Tanysha Ofori-Akuffo, 45, and granddaughter Samantha Drummonds, 27.

The horrifying attacks happened at Ms Hill’s terraced home in Delaford Road, Bermondsey on Monday April 25, with Jacques being discovered by police hiding naked in an upstairs room.

At an Old Bailey hearing on Friday, Jacques pleaded guilty to four counts of manslaughter by diminished responsibility, but denies four allegations of murder.

The prosecution told Judge Richard Marks KC, the Common Serjeant, that although Jacques has admitted responsibility for the deaths, the case would still go to trial on the murder counts.

At an earlier hearing, prosecutor Oliver Glasgow QC said: “Police were alerted to the possible sound of a disturbance at a residential property at Delaford Road in the early hours of the morning of April 25.

“When the police arrived and forced entry to the property, they discovered the lifeless bodies of four victims inside the address.

“Denton Burke, 58, was at the foot of the stairs near to the front door. Dolet Hill, 64, their daughter Tanysha Ofori-Akuffo, 45, and granddaughter Samantha Drummonds, 27, were all in the kitchen.”

Mr Glasgow said they all had “wounds inflicted by a knife or knives”.

Jacques, from Catford, was Tasered during his arrest and had been in custody since the stabbings.

Mrs Hill had worked as a housekeeper at Guy’s Hospital and had just had surgery for cancer, while her husband Mr Burke had been a council worker.

After news of the stabbings broke, a friend and neighbour of Samantha Drummonds described her as "the loveliest girl you could ever meet."

She added: "Myself and my family are heartbroken. She was beautiful in every way."

Mrs Hill’s niece Venecia Reid said of her aunt, who was originally from Jamaica: "She was a good, churchgoing person. She had worked for a hospital and had just had a cancer operation. She was a wonderful person, I can’t believe she has gone. She worked so hard for her family. She didn’t deserve this."

Meanwhile Tanysha’s partner Danny Ofori-Akuffo described the 45-year-old as "a lovely lady" and said her death had left a "hole in my heart."