February 27, 2014
A prolific burglar has been convicted of murdering a grandfather who he stabbed to death in his London home.
Aaron De Silva, 21, stabbed Joseph Griffiths, 73, 22 times after breaking into his house in Hazlebury Road, Fulham, early on 10 November, 2012.
De Silva had tried to plead guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
However, the prosecution refused to accept the plea and he was tried for murder.
Successive psychiatric reports found that while De Silva may have had a personality disorder, he was suffering no mental illness at the time of the killing.
De Silva has 31 previous convictions, including robbery, assault, burglary and carrying a knife.
He told the jury at the Old Bailey he regularly carried a blade because it was “cool”.
Mr Griffiths’ wife Judith described to the court during the trial how she had heard an “awful sound” the night her husband was attacked and then found him lying motionless in a pool of blood outside his bedroom.
Prosecutor Brendan Finucane QC said it was “a completely brutal and overwhelming assault on an elderly man in his own house where he was knifed 22 times to his body”.
Mr Griffiths was a successful businessman who had run a mechanics in Fulham for nearly 20 years.
He and his wife had lived in their home for more than 50 years.