London man found responsible for the murder of his girlfriend and three of her family members

A man has been found guilty of committing a fatal stabbing attack under the influence of drugs and alcohol at a residence in Bermondsey, resulting in a horrific scene.

Joshua Jacques, aged 29, used a knife to fatally stab his girlfriend, Samantha Drummonds, 27, as well as her mother, Tanysha Ofori-Akuffo, 45, her grandmother Dolet Hill, 64, and Hill’s husband, Denton Burke, 58, during the early hours of April 25th last year in Bermondsey, south London.

According to the police, the house was a complete mess, resembling a “bloodbath,” with Burke’s body discovered at the bottom of the staircase and the three women piled together in the kitchen.

On Thursday, a jury at the Old Bailey deliberated for two hours before finding Jacques, residing on Minard Road in Lewisham, guilty of four counts of murder.

Jacques, who had a previous history as a drug dealer, admitted to the manslaughter of the victims but denied murdering them on the grounds of diminished mental capacity.

When officers found Jacques in the house, he was lying in a praying position and repeatedly uttering phrases such as “Allah, take me!,” “Kill me now,” “Get rid of me,” and “God please forgive me,” as stated in court.

Later, while at Lewisham hospital, Jacques stated, “I ain’t even in the wrong, I did them for sacrifice,” and also declared, “I will do something stupid again.”

Sentencing has been adjourned until February 9th, and Jacques has been remanded into custody by Mr Justice Bryan.

The prosecution urged the judge to consider imposing a whole-life sentence due to the “exceptional nature” of the multiple killings. Prosecutor Tom Little KC argued that Jacques’ ability to make rational judgments and exercise self-control was not substantially impaired by any psychological condition and that his actions were a result of self-induced intoxication from drugs and alcohol.

Jurors learned that Jacques had 11 prior convictions for 20 offenses, including cannabis-related charges, possession of a knuckleduster, and robbery. In April 2016, he underwent a mental health evaluation after seeking medical treatment for drinking water from a toilet. He was arrested after threatening to stab and shoot a security officer, and during his time in police custody, he caused a disturbance by throwing food around his cell.

Jacques admitted to consuming 3g of skunk cannabis daily and refused to reduce his usage, claiming that he would continue smoking marijuana “even if it killed” him.

In 2018, he was involuntarily detained under the Mental Health Act after being observed praying in the middle of a busy road in Brixton, south London. Initial assessments suggested drug-induced mania with psychotic features.

In February 2020, he was sentenced to 51 months in prison for conspiring to deal heroin and crack cocaine, as well as possessing cannabis. He was released on November 11th, 2021.

The day before the murders, Drummonds confided in a friend about her belief that Jacques was experiencing an “episode.” The prosecution informed the jury that no medical assistance had been sought prior to the killings and Jacques had not been taken to a hospital.

Following the attack, Drummonds managed to contact Jacques’ mother, Norma Derrivere, but was only able to utter the words “Norma, he’s sta…sta…ahhh.” FaceTime calls had also occurred between Jacques and Derrivere that evening, and during one call after 2am, he stated, “I’m ending it, I’m gonna make a sacrifice.”

The defense argued that Jacques exhibited symptoms consistent with manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder.

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