A pensioner who killed his nephew after mistaking him for a burglar has walked free from court with a suspended sentence.
Ezekiel McCarthy was handed a nine-month prison sentence for fatally stabbing 50-year-old Desbert Welsh, but the sentence was suspended for two years on condition he was supervised during that time.
The Old Bailey, where 85-year-old McCarthy was one of the oldest people to have appeared as a defendant, heard he had been confused at the time of the killing.
McCarthy stabbed Mr Welsh on November 13 at his ground floor flat in Cricklewood, north London, after the pair had been out drinking to celebrate his birthday.
He later told police he had been defending himself.
Mr Welsh died three days later from a stab wound which pierced his liver and caused complications.
Judge Peter Beaumont, the Recorder of London, told McCarthy: "You took the life of a wholly innocent man who had shown you nothing but friendship and support."
But the judge added he had received reports, including those from members of the family, which showed what sort of person he really was.
Alex Milne QC, defending, said McCarthy could not believe what he had done.
"He is destroyed. He is mortified. He could not in his wildest dreams harm his nephew," he said.