Case: Killed by her boyfriend: Sabrina Mullings
Sabrina Mullings
Ivan Griffin
Status: Solved
Categories: Domestic, Drug Related
Case synopsis:

Sabrina Mullings, 38, was stabbed to death by her fiancé on 13 March 2017.

Police and paramedics were called to the flat in Ravensdale Gardens, Upper Norwood, at around 6am.

Ms Mullings had suffered two stab wounds to the chest and abdomen and was pronounced dead at the scene at 6.48am.

Later that day at 4pm her 23 year-old partner was arrested on suspicion of murder after being found with stab injuries in Walworth Road, Southwark.

Ivan Griffin, 23 (03.06.93), of Ravensdale Gardens, Upper Norwood, was charged with murder on 17 March 2017.

He went on trial at the Old Bailey on 11 September 2017. Griffin was convicted of murder on 25 September and was sentenced to life imprisonment on 10 October with a minimum of 16 and a half years before parole.

Killer Ivan Griffin and victim Sabrina Mullings

The court heard Griffin had met Sabrina Mullings while living at the same block of flats in Ravensdale Gardens and began a relationship in December 2016.

During the evening before the couple were filmed by Sabrina's daughter Hayleigh dancing together in the flat while celebrating their recent engagement.

Hours later Hayleigh and her boyfriend Chaise were woken at around 5.30am by the sounds of Griffin shouting and crashing in the living room.

Hayleigh heard her mother calling for help: 'If you love me you will call an ambulance, he's stabbed himself and you need to save him.'

They were unable to get through the living room door as Griffin made comments about 'devil worship', drinking blood and cleansing Sabrina's soul.

When Griffin came out of the room he showed them stab wounds to his chest and abdomen before calmly leaving the flat.

Hayleigh and her boyfriend then found Sabrina lying naked on the kitchen floor on top of a pink dressing gown.

CCTV cameras captured Griffin wandering half-naked around the streets of south London wearing a parka  coat before his arrest.

Griffin gave no explanation in police interview but claimed during the trial that his responsibility for the stabbing was diminished by mental illness. He said they had been smoking cannabis in the hours before the attack and that he had no control over his arm when he first stabbed himself and then stabbed Sabrina.

The prosecution claimed that Griffin was not mentally ill and was 'trying to disguise what he did in the language of mental illness in the hope that everyone will take that as a partial excuse for murder.' 

Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC, the Recorder of London, said cannabis and religious beliefs were a factor in the murder.

The judge added: "Sabrina was attacked in her own home, where she should have been safe, and in horrible circumstances with terrible things being said."

Detective Chief Inspector Will Reynolds, of the Met's Homicide and Major Crime Command, who led the investigation, said: "Griffin callously and viciously attacked a vulnerable, trusting woman that he purported to love and had asked to marry him. He subjected her daughter, Hayleigh, and her boyfriend to the terrible ordeal of hearing the attack on Sabrina but being prevented from helping her, and then callously fled the scene. Her death has left the family utterly devastated.

"I am pleased that the jury did not accept the argument put forward of diminished responsibility and have rightly found Griffin fully accountable for his appalling actions of that terrible night on which Sabrina lost her life."

Sabrina's mother Marian Mullings, in her victim impact statement for the court, described the effect the loss of her daughter has had on her, her granddaughter Hayleigh and her boyfriend Chaise, and the wider family.

"Sabrina has always been a very creative person, with a great imagination, and she was very artistic. Wherever she lived she took pride in her home," she recalled.

"She was a warm and loving person and very much wore her heart on her sleeve. The loss and trauma of her death have been immense. Not only did Hayleigh and Chaise have to go through the ordeal of what they saw and heard the morning she was killed, but they had to leave the house as it became a crime scene and they lost their right to remain there as the property was in Sabrina's name.

"Hayleigh has had trouble sleeping at all ever since. She says she keeps seeing everything that took place, her mum lying naked on the floor and bleeding, and she can't get rid of the images. She feels lost and numb and like half of her heart has been ripped out.

"I only hope Sabrina did not have to suffer in pain for too long due to the nature of her injuries. One of the worst things for me was finding out that the weapon used to stab Sabrina was a knife I had bought her as part of a set to use in her home. This is something I don't feel I will ever get over. Now I go to bed at night and all I can see is her lying on the floor injured, surrounded by blood with that knife next to her.

"We are going to have to live with this forever. All we have now are our memories, we cannot understand how Ivan could claim to love her, get engaged to her, then only a few hours later stab her with a knife and leave her alone and in pain to die and her own daughter to deal with the situation. Our lives will never be the same without Sabrina."

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