UK

Man who stabbed neighbour to death found at hospital – police

Philip Theophilou, 54, sparked a police appeal after leaving a mental health facility in Homerton, east London, on Sunday.

Police said Philip Theophilou has been found after absconding from a mental health facility
Philip Theophilou Police said Philip Theophilou has been found after absconding from a mental health facility (Metropolitan Police/PA)

A man who stabbed his neighbour to death in 2004 has been found after absconding from a mental health facility, the Metropolitan Police have confirmed.

Philip Theophilou, 54, sparked a police appeal after leaving the facility in Homerton, east London, on Sunday.

He was found in the early hours of Thursday after officers were called to a hospital in south London. Theophilou was detained and has now been returned to the facility.

Theophilou admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility after killing Simon Breed, 51, in a knife attack, then living rough in Hyde Park for three days before he was caught, the Old Bailey heard in 2005.

Mr Breed received six stab wounds and several defence wounds, after Theophilou lay in wait for him with a kitchen knife outside his house in Cornwall Avenue, Alexandra Park.

A CCTV image of Philip Theophilou who has been found after he absconded from a mental health facility in east London, sparking a police appeal
Philip Theophilou absconds A CCTV image of Philip Theophilou who has been found after he absconded from a mental health facility in east London, sparking a police appeal (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Theophilou ran to the park from his home in north London, leaving Mr Breed dying outside his house.

He was sent to Broadmoor special hospital without limit of time under the Mental Health Act, in November 2005.

Doctors said he suffered from schizophrenia but had not been taking his medication at the time of the killing in April 2004.

Theophilou had caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to Mr Breed’s house and car with a meat cleaver in January 2003.

The attack followed building work started by Mr Breed shortly after he moved in 2002, and which had caused a crack in the next door house that Theophilou shared with his parents, the court heard.

He was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and released from St Ann’s Hospital in August 2003.

There were no problems until eight months later when Mr Breed was attacked at night as he returned from playing at a folk club.

Paul Brogan, defending, said Theophilou had been discharged from hospital in 2003 in apparently “unsatisfactory circumstances”.

“There was a failure to monitor or treat him after discharge,” said Mr Brogan.