Karl Addo sentenced to life for the manslaughter of Sergio Marquez

05/12/2013

Karl Addo, 30, was sentenced today at Bournemouth Crown Court to life imprisonment with a minimum term of six and half years. He also received an indefinite restriction under Section 41 of the Mental Health Act with a referral to Broadmoor Hospital after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of Sergio Marquez, 23, on the grounds of diminished responsibility, on 2 December at Bournemouth Crown Court.

Following the sentence Tessa Hingston, Crown Advocate for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in Wessex said: "Sergio Marquez died as a result of a horrific and frenzied attack by his flatmate Karl Addo on 17 July 2012, during which a meat cleaver and knives were used. Mr. Marquez' body was mutilated after he had been killed.

"Karl Addo had been suffering  from mental illness for several years, and was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. At the time of the attack on Mr Marquez he was suffering from the delusional but fixed belief that he was being followed, assaulted and injected with drugs by gangs, and that members of the gang (possibly including Mr. Marquez) were planning to kill him.
Medical experts who have been treating Karl Addo in a secure mental hospital while he was waiting for his trial agreed that he had only recently become sufficiently lucid to be fit to plead, although he remained extremely delusional.

The trial was listed to start on Monday, and the defence informed us that Mr Addo would plead guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

"The proposed plea was carefully considered, and in the light of evidence from psychiatrists that Karl Addo's responsibility for his actions would have been substantially reduced by his severe mental illness at the relevant time, the plea was accepted."

Mr Marquez was a 23-year-old Spanish student who had come to England to improve his language skills and to earn money for the future. He was sharing a flat on Lansdowne Road in Bournemouth with two of his friends and the defendant, who had been living with them for about two months.

Ms Hingston said: "Mr Marquez' flatmates told the police that Karl Addo was acting strangely, and that he was dirty and untidy.  They had reported his behaviour to their landlord, who then terminated his tenancy after he had stopped paying the rent.
 Karl Addo was supposed to leave the flat the day he killed Mr Marquez. That day, Mr Marquez had been busy planning with his friends and flatmates  a surprise birthday party for one of them.  The party was planned for the afternoon, but in the middle of the day Mr Marquez was alone in the flat with Karl Addo while the others were out.

One of the last things Mr Marquez did was to have a Skype conversation with his mother in Spain. She described him as well and in good spirits."

When Mr Marquez' friends returned in the afternoon they could not get into the flat as Karl Addo had locked the door from the inside, and they did not have a key with them. They shouted at him to let them in but there was some delay. When he finally opened the door, he fled the flat, covered in blood and they made the gruesome discovery of the disembowelled and decapitated body of their friend in the bedroom.

Karl Addo was arrested shortly thereafter.

"We would like to take this opportunity today to thank the police officers for their dedication and commitment during this investigation and we would like to commend the family and friends of Sergio Marquez for having supported this prosecution of such a tragic case. Our thoughts are with them at this very difficult time."