Schizophrenic who claimed to be God sentenced after killing Notting Hill neighbour

Aaron Cook, 24, killed Bella Nicandro on August 14  (Met Police)
Aaron Cook, 24, killed Bella Nicandro on August 14 (Met Police)

A schizophrenic man who claimed to be God has been sentenced for killing his 76-year-old Notting Hill neighbour after admitting manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.

Aaron Cook, 24, killed Bella Nicandro on August 14 and was seen running in St Luke's Road covered in blood - where several passers-by detained him before his arrest.

Cook was sentenced to a hospital order under Section 37/41 of the Mental Health Act at the Old Bailey on Monday, having pleaded guilty at the same court in November.

A Metropolitan Police statement read: “Officers arrested Cook on suspicion of murder and he was taken to St Mary’s Hospital for treatment to facial injuries sustained when he was detained on the street, and also for a mental health assessment.

Aaron Cook - sentenced for killing his neighbour in Notting Hill (Met Police)
Aaron Cook - sentenced for killing his neighbour in Notting Hill (Met Police)

“Throughout the various stages of his restraint Cook repeatedly claimed to be God and to be able to commit violent crimes with impunity.”

Officers found Ms Nicandro with multiple stab wounds and medics were unable to save her life. A post-mortem found she had been stabbed 14 times, with several wounds in her hands showing she tried to defend herself.

Detective Inspector Adam Guttridge, who led the investigation, said: “This was a tragic incident.

“Cook is schizophrenic and is prone to drug induced psychosis which requires medication that we believe he had stopped taking. He was also using drugs which exacerbated his condition.

Bella Nicandro died (Met Police)
Bella Nicandro died (Met Police)

"We would like to thank the members of the public who bravely detained Cook at the scene of this incident.

“The family of Bella Nicandro have been dignified throughout what has been a lengthy process to reach this point. They hope now to be able to grieve privately."