Joshua Jacques Man who killed his girlfriend and three generations of her family guilty of murder

A man who killed his girlfriend and three generations of her family in a drug and alcohol attack has been found guilty of murder.

Joshua Jacques was accused of killing Samantha Drummonds, 27, her mother Tanysha Ofori-Akuffo, 45, her grandmother Dolet Hill, 64, and Mrs Hill's partner Denton Burke, 58, on April 25 last year.

The 29-year-old was convicted of the murders on Thursday.

Joshua Zack was found guilty of four murders

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Police were called to Ms Hill's home in Delaford Road, Bermondsey, south London, in the early hours of the morning, finding Mr Burke's body at the foot of the stairs and the three women in the kitchen.

Officers discovered Burke's body at the foot of the stairs and the three women “huddled” in the kitchen.

Zak was naked and lying in the upstairs bathroom in a prayer position, screaming “Allah, take me!”, “Kill me now”, “Release me” and “God please forgive me”.

Later, at Lewisham Hospital, Jacques said: “I'm not even at fault, I did it as a sacrifice” and also warned: “I'm going to do something stupid again.”

He had admitted their manslaughter but denied murder on the grounds that he was mentally unwell at the time.

An Old Bailey jury deliberated for two hours to find Jacques, of Minard Road, Lewisham, south-east London, guilty of four counts of murder on Thursday.

Family members of the victims expressed relief at the unanimous verdicts saying a “thank you, Jesus”.

The defendant looked down and shook his head in the dock as the foreman of the jury read each of the four guilty verdicts.

Judge Brian adjourned sentencing until February 9 and remanded Zach in custody.

Earlier, prosecutor Tom Little KC said: “The prosecution's case is that this is a clear case of murder or more precisely a clear case of quadruple murder.”

He argued that Zac's ability to form a rational judgment and exercise self-control was not substantially impaired by any psychiatric condition and that his behavior stemmed from “self-inflicted intoxication, drug and alcohol use.”

He told jurors: “This, we say, led to a transient psychotic disorder which did not qualify for the defendant to make a partial defense of diminished responsibility.”

Jurors were told Jacques had 11 previous convictions for 20 offences, including cannabis, possession of a silver duster and robbery.

He first had a mental health assessment in April 2016 after seeking hospital treatment for drinking water from a toilet.

He was arrested after threatening to stab and shoot a security officer and, while in police custody, threw food around his cell.

He said he was taking 3 grams of skunk a day and refused to consider quitting, saying he would continue smoking weed “even if it killed him.”

In 2018, he was detained under the Mental Health Act after he was seen praying in the middle of a busy street in Brixton, south London, and was hospitalized from April 27 to August 7 that year.

Initially on admission, the impression was of drug-induced rage with psychotic features, jurors said.

In February 2020, he was sentenced to 51 months in prison for conspiracy to traffic in heroin and crack cocaine and possession of cannabis. He was released on November 11, 2021.

In probation reports from April last year, Jacques was described as talkative and engaged.

Three days before the murder, he called his probation officer to say he had been offered a job at a radio station.

Joshua Zack appears in the dock

(Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire)

Two days later, Ms Drummonds confided in a friend that she thought Zac was having an ‘episode' and was ‘talking all night and fixating on things'.

Mr Little told jurors no medical calls were made before the killings nor was Zack taken to hospital.

Last April, on April 25, Zach had visited the house where Burke and Ms. Hill lived for only the second time.

Ms Ofori-Akuffo, also known as Racquel, sometimes stayed at the property to care for her mother, who was being treated for cancer, while Ms Drummonds stayed there while her own flat was being renovated, Mr Little said. to the jury.

After Zack launched his attack, Ms Drummonds called his mother Norma Driver, but all she could say was “Norma's at…at…ahh”.

There were also FaceTime calls between Zac and his mother that night, and in one, after 2 a.m., he said: “I'm over it, I'm going to make a sacrifice.”

Neighbor Alice Canal heard a cat screeching, a man's voice cursing, moving, banging and what she thought was someone falling down the stairs, prompting her to call 999 at around 1.42am.

He argued on his behalf that Zach had exhibited manic symptoms consistent with bipolar disorder.

He has doubled his cannabis intake since his birthday on April 19 last year – just days before the murders.

But that escalation came weeks after he began having sleep problems that were a symptom of mania, the defense argued.

Judge Brian adjourned sentencing until February 9 and remanded Zach in custody.