OAP Ezekiel McCarthy avoids prison over murder of nephew

 

A pensioner who killed his nephew after mistaking him for a burglar walked free from court after a judge took pity on him.

Ezekiel McCarthy, 85, one of the oldest people to appear at the Old Bailey, was jailed for nine months.

But the sentence was suspended for two years on condition that he is supervised during that time.

Judge Peter Beaumont, the Recorder of London, said it was extremely unlikely he would offend again.

He told him: "You took the life of a wholly innocent man who had shown you nothing but friendship and support."

But the judge said he had received reports, including those from members of the family, which showed what sort of person he really was.

The Old Bailey heard McCarthy was confused when he plunged a knife into Desbert Welsh, 50.

Last month, he denied murder and his plea to manslaughter was accepted by the prosecution.

Mr Welsh died on November 13 last year at McCarthy's ground-floor flat in sheltered accommodation at Brondesbury Park, Cricklewood, north London.

The pair had been drinking and celebrating McCarthy's birthday a few days earlier.

They arrived at McCarthy's home in the early hours and in the morning, he stabbed Mr Welsh.

McCarthy said: "This bloody man. I don't know how he got in my room."

He later told police: "I was defending myself."

Jonathan Rees, QC, prosecuting, said: "This is a dreadfully sad case involving the killing of a nephew by his uncle, thinking he was an unknown intruder."

Mr Welsh died three days later from a stab wound which pierced his liver and caused complications.

Medical reports indicated that McCarthy had suffered an acute episode of delirium or confusion brought about by medical conditions linked to his age.

Alex Milne QC, defending, said the death had had an impact on the whole family.

McCarthy could not believe what he had done and could not associate the victim with his nephew.

Mr Milne said: "He is destroyed. He is mortified. He could not in his wildest dreams harm his nephew."

Judge Beaumont warned McCarthy that all options were open to the court.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent