Case: Fire in New Barnet: Antonio Tommaso
Antonio Tommaso
Daniel Osubo
Status: Solved
Categories: Mental Illness
Case synopsis:

Antonio Tommaso, 49, was found dead after a fire at his home on 15 May 2014.

Firefighters were called to the blaze at flat 30, Sheridan Lodge, Potters Road, New Barnet, at around 7.30pm.

Mr Tommaso, a father-of-one who was known in the area for riding a distinctive silver bicycle, was confirmed dead at the scene.

After the postmortem revealed he had suffered a number of stab wounds several days before the fire, detectives launched a murder investigation and appealed for witnesses and information about a red petrol can found at the scene.

On 22 May detectives arrested two men aged 30 and 31 on suspicion of murder. On 24 May Daniel Osubo (also spelt Asubo or Osobu), 30 [20/02/84], of Barnet, was charged with murder, arson with reckless endangerment to life and perverting the course of justice.

Osubo pleaded guilty to manslaughter due to diminished responsibility and reckless arson on 19 August 2014. The prosecution did not accept the pleas and the trial was set for 2 February 2015.

On 5 February 2015 the prosecution accepted the pleas and Osubo was detained indefinitely under sections 37 and 41 of the Mental Health Act.

Antonio Tommaso and the petrol can found at the scene

The Old Bailey heard Osubo had suffered from mental health problems, including schizophrenia, psychotic episodes and depression from the age of 20.

He was admitted to a psychiatric hospital in April 2014 but absconded the next day. Osubo also had a history of cannabis use and often refused to take his medication.

Osubo stabbed Mr Tommaso 60 times to the face, neck and chest on 8 May 2014 after spending the evening smoking and drinking together at the Mr Tommaso's flat.

He returned to the scene a week later to set fire to the flat with a can of petrol.

Following his arrest Osubo claimed that voices in his head told him to do it.

Judge Peter Rook QC told him: 'You carried out a frenzied attack on an innocent man with a knife.

'You had been drinking alcohol and taking cannabis together.

'When Mr Tommaso's body was eventually discovered it was clear he had suffered almost 60 stab wounds in the frenzied attack.

'You deprived Antonio Tommaso of his most precious possession - life itself.

'A week later you returned to the flat where Mr Tommaso's body lay undiscovered and you set fire to the flat using a can of petrol.

'In so doing you recklessly endangered the lives of his neighbours who lived in the same block and who were at home at the time.'

The judge added: 'It is indeed a tragedy that it was not appreciated at the time of this terrible episode that you represented such a risk of violence.

'In my view you remain a substantial risk to yourself and others.'


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