Man Stabbed to Death by Mentally Ill Stranger in Crystal Palace

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Man Stabbed to Death by Mentally Ill Stranger in Crystal Palace

A tragic incident unfolded in Crystal Palace last year when Kiiran Hibbert-Gorden, experiencing a psychotic episode, fatally stabbed a homeless man, Ion Radu. The Old Bailey heard that Hibbert-Gorden, who had a history of mental illness, had recently been discharged by psychiatrists despite not taking his prescribed anti-psychotic medication.

The court learned that on the night of June 1, 2023, Hibbert-Gorden encountered Ion Radu at Morley’s Fried Chicken in Crystal Palace. Despite initially seeming helpful, Hibbert-Gorden suddenly attacked Radu, leading to his death.

Judge Rebecca Trowler, while sentencing Hibbert-Gorden, emphasized that the killing was a result of his schizophrenia, stating, “It would not have occurred but for your illness.” Hibbert-Gorden had left his supported living centre and spent time with Radu, even attempting to find him a place to stay for the night before the fatal stabbing took place.

During the trial, it was revealed that Hibbert-Gorden routinely carried a knife due to previous incidents where he had been attacked. However, he was not deemed at fault for not taking his medication, as this was known and approved by professionals.

As a result of the guilty plea to manslaughter based on diminished responsibility, Hibbert-Gorden was ordered to be detained in a secure mental health hospital under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act. Additionally, he received a Section 41 restriction order, indicating that his release from the hospital would require approval from the Secretary of State for Justice.

The tragic death of Ion Radu has left a lasting impact on those who cared for him, including his brother, who remained in contact with police throughout the legal proceedings. No sentence, Judge Trowler noted, could fully compensate for the loss of life.

The case highlights the complexities surrounding mental health care and the challenges faced in providing adequate support and treatment to individuals like Hibbert-Gorden, whose actions were tragically influenced by his untreated condition.

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