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A “violent and despicable” man who bludgeoned to death his neighbour with a wood carving has been locked up indefinitely.
Neighbours heard a cry of “no Victor, no” during the attack, and Mr Higgins was found lying in a doorway, covered in blood with serious injuries to his face.
Osei had used a wooden carving in the attack, inflicting injuries to the victim’s head, neck and chest, the Old Bailey heard.
Judge Richard Marks QC, the Common Serjeant of London, paid tribute to Mr Higgins as a “fine man” who was greatly loved and respected. Turning to Osei, he ordered that the killer is detained in a secure mental health hospital indefinitely.
“Doctors all agree at the time of the offences you were suffering from schizoaffective disorder compounded by substance misuse, namely cannabis.
“It is a very relevant consideration that for a number of months you had been non-compliant with your medication.
“You had been suffering from this illness for about the last 18 years and that had resulted in numerous hospital admissions.
“It is evident from the violent nature of this attack when you are not well and not properly medicated you are capable of being extremely dangerous.”
Mr Higgins’ sister Claudette Brown said the family has been left “truly heartbroken” since the violent killing.
“We really struggle to understand why Victor would kill his friend”, she said. “We struggle to understand how this could have happened at all.”
The attack happened on September 12 last year, just a couple of hours after police officers and firefighters had been called out to Osei’s home to reports of smoke and a burning smell.
“Victor Osei was not cooperative with any of the emergency services who entered his flat and it was apparent that he was suffering from some mental health difficulties”, said prosecutor Oliver Glasgow.
“Despite the odd nature of some of the things that he said, (the PC) concluded that Victor Osei did not lack capacity and so no further action was taken at that time.”
Osei had been described by a neighbour as “erratic, violent and despicable” who was prone to shouting and arguing, while another said he would “terrorise” people who lived in the block.