On the 28th of July, a 25-year-old man was tried in court for killing his grandfather. The Mirror reported that he was jailed for ten years and eight months. This legal history was made at the Old Bailey in Court Two as the first TV sentencing in England and Wales.
This comes nine years after the move for court broadcasting was first promised. This change in the law will allow broadcasters to film judges sentencing severe criminals. But recording the entire trial will not be permitted.
Ben Oliver admitted to manslaughter as he stabbed 74-year-old David Oliver, who was bedbound in Mottingham, South London, on 19th January. Oliver laid “helpless” in his bedroom following a stroke. He also had used a kitchen knife in the brutal attack, and his grandfather was found with 21 stab wounds on the face and seven to the torso. The BBC reported.
Louis Mably QC, a prosecutor lawyer, told the jurors that Oliver carried this crime out with the intent to kill because he was “furious” at finding out that his grandfather had a history of sexual abuse. He described the attack as “he had repeatedly stabbed and slashed with a knife in the face, and in particular the neck. It was a brutal attack, plainly carried out to kill him.”
The jurors heard how he confessed to his grandmother that “he cannot hurt you anymore now” and texted his mother saying, “mum, I've killed grandad; I love you.” The jurors later cleared him.
Judge Sarah Munro QC was the one to make legal history on Thursday as she gave Oliver his 10-year sentence while it was being broadcasted on Sky News, BBC, ITN, and the PA news. However, due to his previous time spent in jail, this was reduced to nine years, as quoted by her.
She had set out Oliver’s background in a troubled family, autistic spectrum disorder, and depression. She also noted that he had loved his grandparents until he found out about the sexual abuse allegations. That love quickly turned into hatred, and Oliver developed an “obsessional tunnel vision” that led to a decision to kill in a “ferocious way,” the judge said.
He also suffered from suicidal thoughts and asked his grandmother to help him after his mental health worsened when the lockdown happened. Judge Munro said that “his mother had told him she would not have peace until his grandfather was dead, and he had made his grandmother unhappy with his affairs.”
Because of his autism, Oliver was unable to understand the consequences of his actions. So, he didn't think there was an alternative to killing his grandfather.” Psychologists at the trial described Oliver as “a very damaged man who will require psychological work in the longer term.”
This is due to the sexualized environment he grew up in during his childhood. His stepdad, given the name Steve, introduced him to child pornography at age five, which led to him committing sexual offenses against a 15-year-old girl in 2016.
There was evidence that he tried to seek help for his mental health and had done well. Unfortunately, the professionals didn't see the risk that came with him remaining in the community and also placing him with his grandparents.
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