Jury decide Lewisham quadruple killer is guilty of murder

A man who killed three generations the same family has been jailed for a minimum of 46 years.

Joshua Jacques, 29, of Minard Road, Lewisham, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He claimed it was a ‘sacrifice for the greater good’.

Despite his claims that he was not guilty of murder, he was convicted of four counts by a jury at the Old Bailey and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Jacques’ partner, 27-year-old Samantha Drummonds, her mother Tanysha Ofori-Akuffo, 45, and her grandmother Dolet Hill, 64, were killed by Jacques at their home in Bermondsey, as was Dolet’s partner, Denton Burke, 58.

Detective Sergeant Damon Carr, a specially-trained officer who supported the victims’ families, said: “It is abundantly clear that Samantha, Tanysha, Dolet and Denton were loved so much by so many, and their murders have caused crushing sadness.

Jaques killed Samantha Drummonds, who had been his partner (Picture: The Met)

“Of course, we cannot make their loved ones’ pain go away, but we hope this result will give them a tiny bit of solace as they continue to live with their loss.”

Detective Chief Inspector Linda Bradley said: “Jacques brutally murdered four completely innocent people, and destroyed the lives of those left behind.

“The families have shown immense strength and dignity throughout the lengthy trial, and I know they are still trying to to come to terms with Jacques’ cruel actions.

“I can say, hand on heart, this is one of the most shocking cases our team has worked on, and we worked tirelessly to prove that Jacques was guilty of murder rather than manslaughter. We are pleased and relieved that the jury accepted this argument.”

In the early hours of April 25, 2022, a neighbour called 999 after hearing a disturbance at Dolet and Denton’s home -n Delaford Road. Samantha and her mother, Tanysha, were also staying at the property at the time.

Dolet Hill and Denton Burke – two more of the family whose lives were claimed by Jacques (Picture: The Met)

Officers attended and, after getting no response, forced entry into the house. The body of Denton Burke was found at the bottom of the stairs.

The bodies of Samantha, Tanysha and Dolet were all found in the kitchen. All of the victims had been stabbed multiple times.

Jacques was found upstairs in the bathroom, arrested and taken into custody. While under arrest, he made comments including that he ‘had to sacrifice for the greater good’.

Tanysha Ofori-Akuffo – Samantha’s mother was among the victims of Jacques’ frenzied murder spree (Picture: The Met)

At an early stage, Jacques admitted his involvement in the deaths but claimed the partial defence of manslaughter by diminished responsibility as he was suffering from a mental health condition that substantially impaired his ability to form a rational judgement and exercise self-control.

However, the prosecution expert reached the conclusion that Jacques had a history of cannabis misuse which caused him to enter a transient psychotic state.

Jacques knew the effects that cannabis had on his mental health and had been told to stop taking it, but he refused to do so and used cannabis shortly before the murder.

Forensic psychiatric evidence was produced in court and physical evidence further linked Jacques to the scene, including his fingerprints in blood, as well as the recovery of the kitchen knife used to carry out the killings.

Pictured top: Killer Joshua Jacques (Picture: The Met)


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