A mentally ill man has been found guilty of stabbing to death his “funny and caring” neighbour – after tipping off cops to a funny smell months after killing him.
Forty-year-old Daniel Burrell was convicted of the manslaughter of Barrington Davis, 54, and will detained in a psychiatric ward indefinitely.
Mr Davis’ family said: “Barrington was an intelligent, well-dressed, music-loving, funny and caring father, brother and uncle, who we will all miss dearly.
“The verdict of manslaughter has brought some form of closure to our family and although this won’t bring Barrington back, we feel as though justice has prevailed.
“There will always be a void left in our hearts.”
Mr Davis’ body was discovered by the police in his home in Torridon Road on May 16, 2019 after Burrell, who lived in the flat below, alerted the police of a bad smell coming from the property.
Officers forced their way into the Hither Green flat and found the decomposing body of Mr Davis, who had clearly been dead for some time.
Once Mr Davis had been taken to the mortuary on May 19 he was found to have died from 16 stab wounds.
Following Mr Davis’ death one of the four residents in the house, John Ingham, 53, described his neighbour as a “nice fella” and said his death was as a complete shock.
“He’d always say hello and loved his radio – Bob Marley and that,” he had said.
Just two days after the Mr Davis’s body was discovered, police arrested Burrell on suspicion of murder.
He was released under investigation, but was eventually charged with his neighbours murder in November 2019.
Burrell was convicted at the Old Bailey last Tuesday by a jury that returned a unanimous verdict finding him guilty of manslaughter.
Prosecutor Gareth Patterson QC told jurors: “At first it was thought that the death had not been suspicious.
“However, when Mr Davis’s body was later examined at the mortuary it was discovered that he had in fact been stabbed, multiple times, in what appears to have been a one-sided and savage knife attack.”
Burrell, who has paranoid schizophrenia, denied killing his neighbour but declined to give evidence in his trial.
He has been sentenced to a Section 37 Hospital Order meaning he will remain indefinitely detained in a secure psychiatric hospital.
A Section 41 Restriction Order was added providing stringent control over any possibility of his release back into the community.
Detective Inspector Jo Sidaway of the Met’s Specialist Crime Command said: “Our thoughts today are with the family of Barrington Davis.
“We may never know the circumstances surrounding his death and it saddens me to leave his loved ones with so many questions unanswered.
“I hope that they find a measure of closure now that legal proceedings are at an end.
“I agree with the verdict and the sentence handed down and am relieved that Daniel Burrell will now receive the medical help that he needs in an environment where he is not a danger to others.”
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