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Friday, 06 January 2017

'Tragic case' sees mentally ill carer who killed father locked up indefinately

Written by The Press Association

A mentally ill carer has been locked up indefinitely for battering his 81-year-old father to death while under the "intolerable" pressure of looking after both his handicapped parents.

Mohsin Manji, 45, had paranoid schizophrenia for some 25 years yet had taken sole day-to-day responsibility for his bedridden disabled father and dementia-suffering mother.

At the time of the killing at the family home in November 2015, Manji heard voices of "evil spirits" and had got the idea that his father Amirali Manji was some sort of "zombie", a court heard.

At an Old Bailey hearing, Manji, of Kingshill Drive, Harrow, pleaded not guilty to murder but admitted manslaughter by diminished responsibility.

Prosecutor Mukul Chawla QC accepted the plea and the defendant was handed a hospital order and a restriction order "for the public protection" without limit of time.

Sentencing, Judge Michael Topolski QC said: "The pressure of the circumstances, meaning the defendant's caring responsibility for his parents, given his ill health, placed intolerable pressure on him."

Offering his "deepest sympathy" to the family, he said: "This is a truly tragic case. An old and seriously infirm 81-year-old man was attacked in his own home by his son who was one of his carers."

Outlining the facts, Mr Chawla said Mr Manji senior had been attacked by his son in the early hours of November 29 2015 at the family home.

Later that morning, visiting carers found the victim unconscious with scratches on his face.

Manji mumbled at them: "He called her a bastard in the night", in an apparent reference to his mother, then went to pack a bag saying: "I'm going to a mental hospital."

Mr Manji senior was taken to hospital with bruises on his head and eye as a result of being punched repeatedly. He never regained consciousness and died on December 3 2015.

Manji told police afterwards: "He called my mother a bastard so I hit my father lots of times."

He also claimed that "evil spirits control him", the court heard.

Mr Chawla said: "The defendant himself suffers and has suffered for very many years from paranoid schizophrenia and it has been a chronic condition that manifested itself from his late teens or early 20s."

The prosecutor said the defendant's condition was "well known" to authorities, adding: "While the matter of those care arrangements has been raised by the police and the local safeguarding team of the local authority with the local authority it's not entirely clear what action has been taken by the local authority and the NHS to address the concerns that arise."

Judge Topolski noted the court had no jurisdiction over any inquiry although it was "perfectly obvious there are areas of concern with regard to the arrangements that were then in place".

Mark Heywood QC, mitigating, said voices in Manji's head had led him to believe his father was some sort of zombie.

He said: "The word tragedy is over-used in this court but is not inappropriate in this case."

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