Case: Death of an Olympian: Tamas Bujko
Tamas Bujko
Ferenc Ifi
Status: Solved
Categories: Uncategorised
Case synopsis:

Obsessive hotel waiter Ference Ifi murdered former Olympic judo competitor Tamas Bujko because he had put him in an armlock in front of his friends.

The Hungarian believed he had been humiliated by his compatriot following a petty dispute over a rented room.

He planned the killing for five months, eventually attacking his victim outside a tube station, throwing acid in his face before launching a remorseless attack with a hammer and two knives.

Mr Bujko, who came fifth at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and won a silver medal in the world championships, died in hospital soon after.

Ifi – described as having an ‘obsessive and narcissistic’ personality – was caught by police as he walked away from the scene, and later admitted murder on the eve of his trial.

Prosecutor Paul Purnell, QC, told the Old Bailey that 32-year-old Ifi, a waiter at the five-star Goring Hotel near Buckingham Palace, formed a violent grudge against his compatriot after perceived slight in September 2007.

Tamas Bujko: Olympic wrestlerBujko (right), 45, had recently moved out of a house in Hazel Grove, Wembley, north west London, and Ifi replaced him as the tenant.

When the victim returned to the house to collect some property, the two men argued.

Ifi claimed the ex-judo champion called him 'gay' and put him in an armlock.

He insisted his arm was broken, although doctors only diagnosed bruising.

Police took action over the incident, and Ifi spent the next five months brooding over his humiliation and plotting his revenge.

He planned the killing meticulously, and knew that Mr Bujko used a cashpoint at Sudbury Hill tube station in Greenford Road, Harrow, on Friday mornings.

At around 5am on March 21 2008, he confronted the victim outside the station.

He had armed himself with a glass jar full of potassium hydrochloride, a highly corrosive chemical, which he threw in Mr Bujko's face, causing him to scream and fall to the ground.

Mr Purnell said: 'Once incapacitated, Mr Bujko was helpless to resist the brutal attack that followed.

'It was chilling in its calmness, and utterly merciless.'

As his victim begged for mercy, Ifi punched and stamped on him, then pulled out a heavy lump hammer and beat him about the head and body.

He next took out a flick knife and a kitchen knife and slashed his face and eyes.

When the victim tried to push him away, Ifi calmly began to cut off his fingers.

He ignored the shouts of bystanders, one of who started to throw stones at him, before standing up and walking away.

He was arrested a little further along Greenford Road.

Mr Bujko's wife of 24 years Erszebet, and their 23-year-old daughter Monika had flown from Budapest to be at the sentencing.

In a victim impact statement, Mrs Bujko described her husband as very famous in his homeland for his Judo prowess.

He came to this country in 2004, and was working for a food processing firm at the time of his death.

Mrs Bujko told the court: 'Apart from my obvious feelings of loss and grief, my daughter has also been deeply affected by the loss of her father.

'I still don't have any answer as to why my husband was murdered.'

Judge Peter Thornton QC jailed Ifi for life and ordered him to serve a minimum term of 16 years and two months, after he pleaded guilty to murder.

The judge said: 'I accept that your actions were driven by your obsessive personality, and you had harboured a grudge against him for some months.

'You perceived that you had been assaulted and harboured a burning sense of injustice, so for the next five months you had violent fantasies of revenge, planning the killing with calm and precision.

Doctors ruled that Ifi was not mentally ill, but had a 'catathymic' personality, meaning he is obsessive and narcissistic.´

The judge told him: 'Despite your plea of guilty, you appear to show no remorse for the killing.

'On the contrary, you claimed to psychiatrists that you still felt a sense of fury against Mr Bujko.'

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