Joshua Jacques sentenced for four ‘sacrifice’ murders

A cannabis consumer was imprisoned for a “horrific catalogue of murders” in which three generations of the same family were murdered.

Joshua Jacques, aged 29, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the heinous murders of his fiancรฉe and three members of her family.

The Old Bailey heard that Jacques claimed he stabbed Samantha Drummonds and her family as a “sacrifice” in April 2022, after attacking them in their home in Bermondsey, South London.

For their homicides, he will serve a minimum of 46 years in prison.

After receiving information from a neighbour regarding a disturbance, the police found the bodies of Ms Drummonds, 27, Tanysha Ofori-Akuffo, 45, Dolet Hill, 64, and Denton Burke, 58, who was also with Ms Hill.

According to the judge, Jacques committed the “horrific catalogue of murders” as a result of his skunk cannabis abuse.

Mr Justice Bryan stated that they were executed “under the most heinous conditions possible on three generations of the same family” subsequent to Jacques’s daily escalation in drug consumption.Joshua Jacques sentenced for four 'sacrifice' murders

Jacques, who was under the influence of alcohol and drugs at the time of the attacks, was discovered praying naked in the upstairs bathroom by armed police at the crime scene. He exclaimed, “Allah, deliver me!”; “Kill me now”; “Take me out”; and “Beg God to forgive me.”

Later, he stated at Lewisham Hospital, “I’m not even at fault; I did them as a sacrifice.”

He also warned, “I will once more commit an idiotic act.”

The court heard that Jacques consumed 3 grammes of skunk cannabis daily and stated that he would continue to use the substance “even if it killed” him.

“Those who propagate the fallacy that cannabis is not a dangerous substance should take note of this,” the judge cautioned, adding that he was “well aware” of the effect the substance had on his mental health.

It is, and it is well established that it has a detrimental impact on mental health and the ability to induce psychosis.

The daughter of Ms Hill and the sibling of Ms Ofori-Akuffo stated in a victim impact statement that her mother had recently overcome cancer when she was murdered.

Tracey-Ann Henry reported that Ms Hill had completed her final radiotherapy session the day before the stabbing.

According to his impact statement, the husband of Ms Ofori-Akuffo described his emotional response to the news of the attack as “childlike tears.”

Danny Ofori-Akuffo recalled shaking uncontrollably in agony when he realised his wife’s remains were discovered.

“I felt my heart shattering into fragments.”

During the sentencing hearing, Paul Raudnitz KC, acting in mitigation for Jacques, read an apology on his client’s behalf. Jacques expressed regret for his actions for the very first time at that moment.

“I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the deceased’s family for the suffering, agony, and emotional distress that I have caused,” Jacques wrote.

He additionally stated: “I have discussed it with myself and I cannot believe that I am the cause of this atrocity.”

The assault, according to Mr Raudnitz, was not premeditated.

In December of last year, Jacques was found guilty of four counts of murder at the Old Bailey.

Although he admitted to manslaughter, he adamantly denied the charge of murder, at the time citing mental illness.

Thomas Kingston found with head wound, gun nearby

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