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Law degree drop-out Malachi Lindo jailed for murder

Malachi Lindo Image copyright MPS
Image caption Malachi Lindo was high on drugs when he killed Philip Steels

A law degree drop-out has been jailed for life for repeatedly battering a stranger's head with a brick while in a "drug-induced psychosis".

Malachi Lindo, 27, took an ecstasy clone called ethylone, before he killed Philip Steels in Enfield, north London, on 4 September.

Lindo admitted manslaughter last week but his lawyers denied it was murder as he was under the influence of drugs.

Lindo was convicted of murder and must serve a minimum of 14 years in jail.

Sentencing him at the Old Bailey earlier, Judge Paul Worsley QC, said Lindo had "attacked a complete stranger and literally smashed his head in".

'Never said goodbye'

This time last year Lindo was shadowing a judge at the Old Bailey, having been the first in his family to go to university to read law at Queen Mary's College, London, Judge Worsley said.

The court heard Lindo, from Enfield, suffered with depression and had dropped out of university, working at a Tesco store and setting himself up as a drug dealer instead.

The victim, Philip Steels, 51, of Burncroft Avenue, Enfield, had been drinking before he encountered Lindo in the street, the trial heard.

The pair got into a row in Green Street and Lindo knocked Mr Steels to the ground, before repeatedly smashing his head with a brick from a nearby pile.

Image copyright MPS
Image caption Philip Steels had been visiting a friend before he encountered Lindo in the street

Mr Steels, who was originally from Co Sligo in Ireland, had a large hole in the left hand side of his head and his face was damaged beyond recognition when police found him lying on a footpath.

In a statement read out at the Old Bailey, Mr Steel's daughter Kay said: "I never got to say goodbye or to see him one last time."

The court heard Mr Steel's brother Michael had been so distraught about his sudden death he had taken his own life four weeks later.

Speaking after the verdict Acting Det Sgt Mike Stubbins said: "This was a horrendous attack on an innocent member of the public, brought about by a complicated and confused individual being high on a cocktail of drugs."

Ethylone is classified as a class B drug and can cause euphoria and elevated mood as well as nausea, agitation and possible hallucinations.

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