A Heathrow hotel receptionist who stabbed two colleagues to death out of sexual jealousy, then hid inside the base of the bed in the murder room for two days while police cleared away their bodies, is facing life in jail.
Attila Ban tried to escape responsibility by attempting suicide, then by pretending he was unable to speak due to shock, and lastly by claiming he remembered nothing.
Despite all his scheming, the 32-year-old Hungarian failed to evade justice at the Old Bailey yesterday as he was found guilty of murdering Tibor Vass and Alice Adams, both 20. He will be sentenced at a later date.
The court heard his crime was born out of the infatuation he developed for Mr Vass despite knowing the object of his affections was not gay.
It was the sight of his fellow Hungarian housemate and Ms Adams kissing, compounded by the knowledge that Mr Vass would soon be heading back to their home country for university, that drove Ban to kill the pair, having engaged in a threesome with them at the end of a drug-fuelled party.
When police forced the door of the room open the next day, Mr Vass was found naked on the double bed of the flat owned by the Radisson Edwardian Hotel at Heathrow where all three worked, while Ms Adams was left in the living room with 22 stab wounds.
What the officers did not realise was that Ban was still hiding inside the divan bed, watching through slits he had made in the bed's sides. He updated his Facebook profile on his mobile phone, saying that he "wanted to wake up from this nightmare", and drank from a stash of water bottles he had hidden with him. He had earlier tried to kill himself by slashing his wrists and dropping a hairdryer in his bathwater.
Officers thought the assailant had run away or jumped out of the window, but he was eventually found two days later when a forensic officer noticed the door of the room, which had been left open, was closed.
Ban had pleaded guilty to manslaughter but not murder on the basis of diminished responsibility, saying: "I accept I killed them. I just can't remember what happened."
Mr Vass's mother, Rozalia Vass, said she was especially shocked by Ban's "devastating" crime because she "trusted him and regarded him as one of my own," thinking he was "mature, friendly and intelligent".
Outside court yesterday, Detective Inspector John Finch denied his officers were at fault for failing to spot Ban beneath the bed. "Someone hiding under a bed for two days with a dead man who he has killed is hard to believe," he said.
"I have looked back at this several times with senior management. It was such a strange and bizarre thing for a person to do. It beggars belief."Reuse content