Man admits stabbing four members of same family to death but denies murder

·2-min read

A man has admitted stabbing four members of the same family to death – but denied it was murder.

Joshua Jacques 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 28-year-old attacked three generations at Ms Hill’s terraced home in Bermondsey, south London, on Monday April 25.

Police had been called to a disturbance at the property in Delaford Road in the early hours of the morning and forced entry.

They found Mr Burke’s body at the foot of the stairs and those of the three women in the kitchen.

Joshua Jacques court case
Dolent Hill and Denton Burke were attacked in their home (Metropolitan Police/PA)

They had all suffered numerous stab wounds with one or more knives and were pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers then discovered Jacques hiding naked in the upstairs bathroom.

He was tasered during his arrest and taken into custody at Brixton police station.

Jacques, from Minard Road, Lewisham, south-east London, was subsequently charged with four counts of murder.

On Friday, Jacques appeared for a plea hearing at the Old Bailey before Judge Richard Marks KC.

He denied four charges of murder but admitted manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.

Joshua Jacques court case
Samantha Drummonds died alongside her mother and grandmother (Metropolitan Police/PA)

The prosecution indicated the pleas to the lesser offence would not be accepted by the Crown and the case would go to trial.

Jacques, who wore a grey tracksuit, entered his pleas by video-link from Belmarsh prison.

He was represented in court by Paul Raudnitz KC, with Oliver Glasgow KC prosecuting.

Both senior barristers wore “mourning bands” in place of their usual collars and “weepers” – ceremonial white cuffs traditionally donned as expression of sorrow at the death of the Queen.

Judge Marks, who also wore mourning bands, remanded Jacques into custody with a further hearing on December 19 when a trial date next year is likely to be set.

Joshua Jacques court case
Nurse Tanysha Ofori-Akuffo was described as a ‘doting wife and caring mother’ (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Following the tragic event, a Gofundme page, set up to help pay for funeral costs, said the family had been left “truly heartbroken”.

Ms Hill had been happily married to council worker Mr Burke for 15 years and had worked in the NHS for more than 20 years.

Ms Ofori-Akuffo was a nurse, supported her mother in charity ventures and was described as “a doting wife, caring mother and a great friend”.

Her daughter Samantha was “an upbeat, fun-loving, bubbly young lady who adored her grandmother Dolet”, the family said.