Trial told of stab victim's fight for life

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The Independent Online
An Old Bailey jury yesterday heard Jamie Petrolini, one of two A-level students accused of murdering a complete stranger, calmly describe how an Egyptian chef fought for life as he stabbed him repeatedly in the throat.

In a lengthy, matter-of-fact confession, taped by detectives after Petrolini's arrest, the former Gordonstoun schoolboy said he struck Mohammed El- Sayed 'under his Adam's apple' with a commando knife after jumping into his car when it slowed down at a junction.

Petrolini, 19, said he and Richard Elsey, from Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, a fellow student at an Oxford crammer, who is also accused of murder, picked Mr El-Sayed at random in Bayswater, west London, on 14 January this year.

Petrolini said the father-of- two managed to pull the knife out of his neck after it severed an artery, but that Elsey restrained him from behind. 'Then I changed target from his neck to his heart,' Petrolini said. He said he then inserted the knife full-length into Mr El-Sayed's heart.' I did the same thing three or four times, inserted it in then took it out, inserted in and took it out . . . I said to Richard 'Jesus there's a lot of blood'.'

Petrolini said he and Elsey then searched Mr El-Sayed for his wallet and credit cards.

Petrolini, from Granton-on- Spey, Highland, said he and Elsey - both obsessed with the Special Air Service and the paratroop regiment - had planned the killing for a week. They had initially intended to kill a pimp or a drug dealer in Petrolini's 'first-blood' mission to join the SAS.

Petrolini said at the time he had not thought the killing was wrong. 'I realised what I was doing was wrong, but in a way I was above the law and in a slight way what I was doing wasn't wrong because I was training to join the SAS, to be the best and give service to other people in the end.'

The court heard that police found a 'life book' in Petrolini's student digs.

He claimed it was given to him by Elsey. In it, Petrolini had written down different killing methods, including stabbing in the neck.

Petrolini could not explain why he took Mr El-Sayed's car keys and glasses after the murder. He said he had transferred one of Mr El-Sayed keys to his own key ring to remind himself of what he had done.

Petrolini said he had been trying to 'sort his head out' before the killing.

He had been having trouble 'finding' himself and had had homosexual thoughts. Petrolini and Elsey deny murder. Petrolini has admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He claims he believed Elsey was in the SAS. Elsey claims he thought Petrolini was only going to rob his victim.

The trial continues today.