An Army veteran grabbed his mother around the neck and shouted “you’re dead” years before killing a Britain’s Got Talent finalist, a court heard.
Desmond Sylva, 41, stabbed his partner Simonne Kerr more than 70 times in August 2018, the Old Bailey heard.
In March 2010 he had been charged with grievous bodily harm with intent to his mother, but the case was dropped.
Sylva has admitted manslaughter but denies murder, claiming his depression impaired his mental function.
The court has previously heard Ms Kerr, 31, was attacked at a flat in Clapham, South London, with a kitchen knife after she returned from work at Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospital on 15 August.
In a witness statement read to the court, Mr Sylva’s mother Patricia King said in 2010 he had been staying with her and had been upset about the prospect of his then wife not returning from Germany with their child.
While she was reading a text message, Mr Sylva grabbed her round the neck saying “help help”, the court heard.
Ms King responded: “Sparrow, it’s me your mother,” and he allegedly replied: “Mother, you’re dead.”
Jurors were told he put his arm around her neck and put his fingers down her throat to stop her calling for help.
He forced her to the ground and straddled her as he continued to say “mother you’re dead”, the court heard.
Prosecutor Louise Oakley said Ms King told police she remembered “blood coming from her mouth before she passed out”.
Mr Sylva was charged in relation to the incident in March 2010, but Ms King withdrew the allegation, saying she was not willing to give evidence against her son.
Jurors have heard Iraq war veteran Mr Sylva had served in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers between 2002 and 2012 before he was discharged on medical grounds.
The trial continues.
Protesters against Donald Trump’s UK visit have launched a talking and moving robot named the “Trump-Dumper”.
The robot, which depicts President Trump sitting on the toilet, talks in a tongue-in-cheek fashion and takes on the US President’s sometimes controversial tweets.
Its creators hope its popularity overtakes the Donald Trump baby blimp which flew over London in 2018.
British retail tycoon Sir Philip Green has been charged in the US with four counts of misdemeanour assault.
The charges come after a fitness instructor in Arizona alleged that he repeatedly touched her inappropriately.
The incidents, which Sir Philip strenuously denies, allegedly occurred at the Canyon Ranch resort in Tucson in 2016 and 2018.
Pima County Attorney’s Office said each count carries a potential sentence of up to 30 days in jail.
Sir Philip could also face a fine of up to $500 (£400) and up to a year of probation on each count, the attorney’s office said.
The complainant said in a police interview that Sir Philip had slapped her bottom.
Sir Philip’s Arcadia Group owns the High Street chains Topshop, Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, and Wallis.
A statement issued by Arcadia said: “Sir Philip strenuously denies these allegations and is disappointed that the charges have been filed in his absence and they are minor categories of misdemeanour in the United States.”
The statement said Sir Philip would be represented by his lawyer in court as he was not required to attend personally.
It added: “Contrary to previous suggestions in the media there is no allegation of any sexual assault or misconduct made by the prosecution.”
The charges against Sir Philip come as his business faces significant challenges, with nearly 50 stores due to close and MPs calling on him to use his own wealth to fund the company’s pension scheme.
He was also at the centre of controversy earlier this year when he took out an injunction barring the Daily Telegraph from reporting allegations of misconduct against him by employees, which included bullying along with sexual and racial abuse, allegations the businessman strongly denied. He later dropped the injunction.
A date for the first court hearing has been set for 19 June at Pima County Court.
A court case against four people accused of damaging an ambulance during World Cup celebrations in London last year has been dropped.
The car was taken out of service when it was damaged in Borough High Street following England’s quarter-final win over Sweden on 7 July last year.
Three men and and a woman were due to appear at Inner London Crown Court next month charged with criminal damage.
The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed they offered no evidence on the case.
The four people who will no longer face trial are:
Perry Kangyue Jian, 26, from Poplar, London; Larissa Bell, 21, from East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire; James Elton, 27, from West Hampstead, London and Scott Dennett, 25, from Thornton-Cleveleys, Lancashire.
|Saracens (23) 44|
|Tries: Maitland, Spencer, Williams, Tompkins 3 Cons: Farrell 4 Pens: Farrell 2|
|Gloucester (7) 19|
|Tries: Morgan, Dreyer, Ludlow Cons: Twelvetrees 2 Pens:|
Nick Tompkins’ second-half hat-trick helped Saracens cruise past Gloucester 44-19 and keep up their hopes of a second domestic and European double.
Ben Morgan’s second-minute try was cancelled out by scores from Sean Maitland, Ben Spencer and Liam Williams as Owen Farrell kicked eight points in an engrossing first half.
Replacement Tompkins’ treble came in the first 16 minutes after the break.
Ruan Dreyer and Lewis Ludlow got consolation tries for Gloucester.
Victory set up a final date at Twickenham next Saturday against old foes Exeter, who Saracens beat to lift the Premiership crown in both 2016 and 2018.
Gloucester looked like they could upset the form book as Morgan went over after a superb six-pass move that included a lovely reverse ball by Mark Atkinson to open up a hole in the Saracens defence.
But Mark McCall’s side showed why they are Europe’s best as they strangled Gloucester’s ambitions and pressurised them with high balls and front-foot defence.
They hit back within two minutes as Maitland gathered Farrell’s grubber kick, after Williams acrobatically kept the ball alive from the kick-off, before Spencer crossed after a brilliant 40-metre break and dummy by Maro Itoje.
Gloucester’s first half was summed up by two moments in the final 10 minutes – first Charlie Sharples’ pass after a lovely backs move was intercepted by Alex Goode when the Cherry and Whites had an overlap, and then Alex Lozowski snaffled a high kick and fed Sarries’ Wales and British and Irish Lions star Williams, who coasted into the corner.
First-half replacement Tompkins’ first score was a 40-metre dash a minute after the restart, while his second came at the end of some slick inter-passing from his team-mates and his third was from a metre out after Goode was held up on the Gloucester line.
Front-row replacement Dreyer got one try back after a lovely dummy opened up a gap under the posts while Ludlow ran in from distance following a cute Billy Twelvetrees offload.
But Saracens were not troubled as they made a fifth Premiership final in six years.
Farrell wins battle with Cipriani
The pre-match hype centred on the contest between arguably the best two fly-halves in the country as double Player of the Year Cipriani faced up against England’s first-choice Owen Farrell.
Saracens’ defence did not allow Gloucester the opportunities to get the ball into Cipriani’s hands and show his talent, while Farrell was key to his side’s first try.
Although the Saracens man did miss a number of kickable penalties, barring injury you would expect Farrell to be the one of the first men on the plane to Japan for the World Cup.
Whether Cipriani’s performance has persuaded Eddie Jones that he should join him is still in the balance.
Saracens sweat over Barritt
Saracens’ only concern from the victory was seeing skipper Brad Barritt limp off after 27 minutes.
The former England centre appeared to have a hamstring problem and would seem a major doubt for next week’s showpiece at Twickenham.
However, his replacement Tompkins proved a more than able deputy as his tries snuffed out any hope of a Cherry and Whites comeback.
“It’s devastating to lose Brad and it’s very unlikely he’ll be able to play in the final,” said Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall. “Given what he’s given the team this year, that feels very sad.
“Nick has had a phenomenal game. He’s been involved in every Premiership and European game this season. He’s been one of the players who has risen this year.”
Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall:
“I feel quite funny because the scoreline does them [Gloucester] a disservice. We need to be better against whoever we play at Twickenham next weekend.
“It’s almost perfect because we’ve won comfortably and scored some good tries, but still have a frustrated changing room.
“If we want to get the result we want [in the final], then we need to be better. The players understand that.
“For 10 minutes before half-time and 10 minutes after, we took advantage of some crucial turnovers. Our ability to recover the ball from kicks was outstanding.
“But there were other parts of the game we weren’t too happy with, so there are enough things for us to fix.”
Saracens: Goode; Williams, Lozowski, Barrett (capt), Maitland; Farrell, Spencer; Barrington, George, Koch, Skelton, Kruis, Itoje, Wray, B Vunipola.
Replacements: Gray, Adams-Hale, Judge, Isiekwe, Rhodes, Wigglesworth, Tompkins, Strettle.
Gloucester: Woodward; Sharples, Twelvetrees, Atkinson, Marshall; Cipriani, Heinz (capt); Hohneck, Marais, Balmain, Slater, Mostert, Ackermann, Kriel, Morgan.
Replacements: Sherry, Rapava Ruskin, Dreyer, Savage, Ludlow, Polledri, Vellacott, Purdy.
Referee: Luke Pearce.
A man has been arrested after a gun was fired outside a mosque in east London during Ramadan prayers.
Police were called to reports of a man with a firearm entering the Seven Kings Masjid in Ilford at 22:45 BST on 9 May.
A 28-year-old man was arrested earlier on suspicion of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear or violence, possession with intent to supply, and assaulting a police officer.
Evidence suggested the weapon was a blank-firing handgun, police said.
Nobody was hurt in the incident. The arrested man remains in custody.
Climate activists inside five large containers have blocked the entrances to BP’s head office in central London.
The Greenpeace protesters used cranes to transport the heavy boxes into place at St James’s Square in the early hours of the morning.
Other campaigners abseiled down the side of the building to block windows and display banners.
Greenpeace says those inside the containers have enough food and water to last them for several days.
The aim is to keep BP’s headquarters closed “for at least the whole of this AGM week”, Greenpeace said. BP’s annual general meeting is set to take place in Aberdeen on Tuesday.
Greenpeace said it was carrying out the action to call on BP to end exploration for oil and gas, and only invest in renewable energy.
One campaigner, Morton Thaysen, told the BBC the group was planning a “long-term occupation of BP’s headquarters”.
Four people have been arrested for aggravated trespass after some protesters scaled the building.
Officers from the Met Police are in St James’s Square and said there had been no reported injuries.
At the scene
Becky Cafe, BBC London
As far as protests go, this doesn’t have the energy of the recent Extinction Rebellion demonstrations that closed off main arteries in central London. Then, it was very difficult to avoid the sound systems and banners.
This time it’s a very quiet protest tucked down a side street just off a main road leading to Piccadilly Circus. This has meant little disruption to businesses, shoppers and tourists.
However it has disrupted the protesters’ intended target, BP, as staff are unable to enter the building and have been told to work from home.
The boxes have been custom made to fit perfectly in the space in front of every entrance to BP’s offices, other than the fire exit.
Inside each box are two Greenpeace protesters with more sitting on top, looking around.
But as the police have cordoned off the entire road, it is very difficult for people to see what’s going on so you wonder how long the protest will have an impact.
In a statement, BP said: “We welcome discussion, debate, even peaceful protest on the important matter of how we must all work together to address the climate challenge, but impeding safe entry and exit from an office building in this way is dangerous and clearly a matter for the police to resolve as swiftly as possible.”
A company employee said staff had not been told what was happening.
“I’m thinking to go home because it will take the police a while to get the protesters abseiling off the building,” the staff member said.
A young woman was killed in the London Bridge attack after she ran to the aid of another victim, telling her friends, “I’m a nurse, I have to go and help”, an inquest has heard.
Kirsty Boden, 28, was stabbed in the head as she knelt over restaurant waiter Alexandre Pigeard as he lay dying, the Old Bailey heard.
Footage of her being set upon was shown at the inquest into the deaths of those killed in the London Bridge attack.
Eight people died on 3 June 2017.
Australian Ms Boden, dubbed the “angel of London Bridge”, had been out for a meal with two friends when she heard the three attackers’ van crash into the railings above and debris falling onto the outside tables.
Gareth Patterson QC, the lawyer for her family, said Ms Boden got up within seconds of the crash.
The off-duty nurse, who worked at Guy’s Hospital, was thinking of others rather than her own safety, he said.
A statement from Ms Boden’s friend, Melanie Schroeder – one of the friends she was dining with – was read out to the jury on Friday.
Ms Schroeder, who had previously asked Ms Boden to be her bridesmaid at her wedding, said: “Kirsty jumped up and said, ‘I’m a nurse. I have to go and help. I need to see if they need help’.
“Kirsty headed off and I thought nothing of it,” she said.
Ms Schroeder said she then remembered hearing screaming and thinking people should calm down because it was “just a crash”.
The friends fled the restaurant with the other diners, and when they returned Ms Schroeder said she saw Ms Boden’s body on the ground, which she recognised “because of her bright pink cardigan”.
Ms Boden, who had suffered stab wounds, was alive but unable to speak, Ms Schroeder said.
Ms Schroeder and a GP tried to revive her friend, while Ms Mooney attempted to find emergency medical help, but Ms Boden died at their side.
Courtroom in awe at selflessness
BBC reporter Hanna Yusuf, at the inquest
Dreams, hopes and friendships were terminated on the night Australian nurse Kirsty Boden lost her life.
The courtroom watched in awe as footage of a selfless Ms Boden getting up from her dinner with friends – to help victims after hearing a crash – was played.
The clips illustrated a night that violently broke up the friendship trio of Ms Boden, Melanie Schroeder and Harriet Mooney.
In statements read aloud, Ms Schroeder and Ms Mooney emotively described the night during which they saw their friend die.
The desperation in their attempts to save the life of their friend, who was supposed to be Ms Schroeder’s bridesmaid, was palpable.
There was a collective shudder as the court watched the moment Khuram Butt made a stabbing motion at a faint figure identified as Ms Boden.
The court was reminded that the breakdown of moments that seemed lifelong, and were life-changing, happened over a matter of seconds in real time.
The inquest heard how Ms Boden was set upon by all three attackers – Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba.
The three had crashed their car on London Bridge before running through Borough Market.
They were shot dead near the market around 10 minutes after their attack began.
Lawyer Mr Patterson said the tip of a knife carried by attacker Butt, 27, was later found embedded in Ms Boden’s head.
The jury heard an account from witness Alexandre Colou, who said he saw the moment Ms Boden fell as crowds of people fled the attackers.
“Her eyes were moving wildly,” he said. “She had difficulties breathing. I was talking to her and then her eyes stopped moving.
“I said ‘stay awake, stay awake, stay with me’.”
The stories emerging from the inquest
- Australian au pair Sara Zelenak was being helped up by a passer-by after slipping over in her high heels when they were both fatally stabbed.
- The first person stabbed in the attack, Richard Livett, described coming “nose to nose” with attacker Khuram Butt, who shouted “Allahu Akbar” in his face before stabbing him in the back.
- PC Mia Kerr recalled how she discovered victim Sebastien Belanger lying in the street and used her baton to protect other members of the public from the attackers.
- Off-duty nurse Helen Kennett told how she asked one of the London Bridge attackers what was wrong with him before he stabbed her in the neck. She survived the attack.
The inquest also heard from British Transport Police constable, Wayne Marques, who previously spoke to the BBC about being the first officer to confront all three of the attackers.
At the inquest, PC Marques told of how he had been on patrol, armed with only a baton, when he ran to the aid of Marie Bondeville, her boyfriend Oliver Dowling, and Richard Livett.
He said he was initially alerted by a woman’s scream and people running up and down Borough High Street.
As he went to investigate, he told the court he was approached by a man running, before finding Richard Livet lying in a pool of blood.
He then noticed a man grabbing Ms Bondeville and told the court how the attacker appeared to punch her three or four times, before she fell to the floor, face down.
PC Marques then described the moment he saw Mr Dowling being stabbed in the neck.
He said: “I got my baton out and charged the first attacker… my intention was to hit him as hard as I could with all my weight behind me with everything I had. I knew he was trying to kill the man on the floor.”
PC Marques said as the first attacker began to “crumble” the officer felt an “almighty blow” to his head – which impaired his vision.
He said: “At this point I saw a knife coming towards me. Through instinctive reaction I defended myself.”
The officer said “a messy fight” ensued with the second attacker, before the third ran over.
Although PC Marques was stabbed multiple times, he said: “My job at that stage was to hold on and keep them fighting until the cavalry arrived.”
Chelsea defender David Luiz has signed a new two-year contract at the club, running until 2021.
The Brazilian, 32, is out of contract at the end of June meaning he could have left for free in the summer.
Luiz made his 48th Chelsea appearance of the season in Thursday’s penalty shootout win over Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League semi-finals.
“I am so happy to be here and to have this opportunity to stay,” the centre-back said.
“I love this club and I still have the ambition of a young player.”
Luiz joined Chelsea from Benfica in January 2011 but left to join Paris St-Germain in 2014 before returning to Stamford Bridge for £34m in 2016.
“It means a lot to reach another European final, and we still have the opportunity to finish in the top three of the Premier League this season and I will continue to try to do my best to help the team,” Luiz added.
The mother of a woman who fell to her death from a balcony has lost a High Court challenge against a decision not to prosecute her daughter’s boyfriend.
Jourdain John-Baptiste was 22 when she fell from her fourth-floor flat in Enfield, north London, in August 2015.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) brought no charges against her boyfriend, which lawyers for her family claimed was “irrational”.
But Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett said the CPS decision was “reasonable”.
After the hearing, her mother Tracey John-Baptiste said: “We have lost my beautiful daughter and now we have lost the chance to get justice.
“Even those against prosecuting in the CPS recognise this is a finely-balanced decision.
“Why not put this to the jury who can hear all the witnesses and decide?”
The boyfriend, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was in the flat with Ms John-Baptiste at the time of the fall and last year her mother told the BBC witnesses said they heard the couple arguing.
Mrs John-Baptiste asked for the CPS decision not to prosecute to be reviewed and was told initially there ought to be a prosecution, which a senior prosecutor revised.
At an earlier hearing in London, the family’s barrister Karon Monaghan QC said there was “ample evidence” to support a prosecution, and there was a “threatening” text message on Ms John-Baptiste’s phone from her boyfriend saying: “When I see u again I’ll drop you.”
Ms Monaghan said the prosecutor who made the final decision based it on an “unevidenced and gendered assumption” that Ms John-Baptiste may have slipped in a state of “high emotion”.
But judges, who were asked to quash the decision, said it was “impossible” to conclude the decision was “wrong in law”.
Lord Burnett said a jury would be invited to say “the only realistic explanation for Ms John-Baptiste’s fall was that she was fleeing from a threat of violence”, which he said all involved accepted “was one possible explanation”.
“But the question for the decision-makers was whether it was more likely than not that a jury would reach that conclusion at the end of a criminal trial,” he added.
A CPS spokesman said: “We understand how difficult this has been for the family. We considered all the information given to us by the police investigation.
“We can only prosecute an offence when there is sufficient evidence to do so.
“The original decision has now been tested by a Victim’s Right to Review scheme (VRR) and now by a High Court hearing.”