England

Letchworth killing: Man cleared of businessman murder

Whitethorn Lane Image copyright Google
Image caption Nicholas Daher was stabbed to death by his son-in-law at the latter's home in Whitethorn Lane

A man who claimed he "saw the devil" when he killed his father-in-law has been cleared of murder.

Syrian businessman Nicholas Daher, 85, was stabbed to death in Letchworth on 4 January.

Sammi Ozone, 60, admitting killing the father of his wife Samur at their Whitethorn Lane home, but denied murder.

A jury at Luton Crown Court found him not guilty of murder on grounds of diminished responsibility.

The jury was told how Ozone cut himself after the fatal stabbing and was taken to the Lister Hospital in Stevenage for treatment.

While there, with a police guard nearby, he is said to have made unprompted comments: "Is the devil alive? I didn't mean to do it. I saw the devil in front of me."

'Flipped'

Father-of-two Ozone has been remanded in custody until 25 August for a psychiatric report to be updated prior to sentencing.

Judge Michael Kay QC said: "This has been a very sad case, but Mr Ozone should be prepared for a custodial sentence of some length."

During the case, prosecutor Robert O'Sullivan QC said: "For a number of years the defendant had ill-feeling towards his father-in-law. Mr Daher was a very wealthy man, who had funded their lifestyle in Syria where they came from.

"Mr Ozone resented his father-in-law's controlling behaviour."

When questioned by the police, he said something had "flipped" when he went in the kitchen.

He said his father-in-law had a devil face.

He said: "He was evil. He was mad. He laughed at every step in our life."

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