A knifeman told his mother “I’m gonna make a sacrifice” after slashing his girlfriend and her family members to death in a drug and alcohol-fuelled “bloodbath”, a court heard.
Joshua Jacques, 29, is accused of fatally stabbing girlfriend Samantha Drummonds, 27, her mother Tanysha Ofori-Akuffo, 45, her grandmother Dolet Hill, 64, and Ms Hill’s partner, Denton Burke, 58, on April 25 last year.
After entering Ms Hill’s terraced home in Delaford Road, Bermondsey, south London, at around 2am, police officers found Mr Burke’s body at the foot of the stairs and the three women “heaped together” in the kitchen.
Prosecutors say Jacques left “a bloodbath in his wake”.
Tom Little KC, prosecuting, told jurors at the Old Bailey on Monday: “This case involves not one death, not two deaths, and not even three deaths but four violent and brutal deaths at the hands of this defendant.”
He went on: “In killing four people the prosecution say that the defendant murdered three generations of one family.
“There is no dispute or issue other than that it was the defendant that killed all four of the victims and that he did so by attacking them.
“He did so by stabbing them, cutting them and slashing them.
“What you will have to decide is why he did so and what his state of mind was at the time.
“The prosecution case is that this is a clear case of murder or more accurately a clear case of quadruple murder.
“We say that the defendant killed his victims with murderous intent, and there’s no dispute about that, and that when he did so his ability to form a rational judgment and to exercise self-control were not substantially impaired by any psychiatric condition and indeed that his conduct on that night was brought about by self-induced intoxication, taking drugs and drinking alcohol.
“This, we say, led to a transient psychotic disorder not meeting the requirements for the defendant to make out a partial defence of diminished responsibility.”
It was the second time Jacques had visited the house where Mr Burke and Ms Hill lived, the court heard.
Ms Ofori-Akuffo, also known as Racquel, sometimes stayed at the property to care for her mother who was receiving treatment for cancer, while Ms Drummonds had been living there as her own flat was undergoing renovation, Mr Little told jurors.
In the days before the attack, Ms Drummonds told her best friend Ayo Omosuyi she believed Jacques was having an “episode” and had been “chatting all night and was fixated on topics”.
In a voice message sent to Ms Omosuyi on April 24 2022, she said: “Literally like this weekend has just been a myth, like basically in a nutshell Josh is basically getting to the point where he could basically have an episode, like I don’t know what’s triggered him.
“It’s just a myth innit obviously tomorrow is Monday and obviously doctors are gonna get.
“He just needs to get his medication innit.”
Hours before she died, Ms Drummonds told her friend Rutanya Ford: “My partner’s got mental health and we are just trying to sort him out right now… we just need to get him something, some medication to calm him down”.
She later messaged Ms Omosuyi saying: “Being around the right energy and ppl can really help, obviously still getting the meds”.
Mr Little told jurors no medical calls were made before the killings nor was Jacques taken to hospital.
The prosecutor went on: “A couple of hours after Samantha Drummonds’ message stating that the defendant was calm he must have been anything but calm because he then set about attacking all four of his victims over a sustained period of time yet in the course of sustaining minimal injuries himself.
“Whether he had taken any drugs in the interim or was suffering the effect of having taken any drugs earlier is a matter that we ask that you will want to keep in mind.”
After midnight Ms Drummonds called the defendant’s mother Norma Derrivere, who heard “Norma he’s sta… sta… ahhh”, which prosecutors say was the “murderous attack” taking place, jurors heard.
There were also FaceTime calls between Jacques and his mother that evening, and during one, after 2am, he said “I’m ending it, I’m gonna make a sacrifice”, Mr Little told the court.
Neighbour Alice Canal heard a cat screeching, a male voice swearing, movement, banging and what she believed was someone falling down stairs which prompted her to call 999 at around 1.42am.
Jurors were told armed officers found Jacques naked and lying in the upstairs bathroom in a praying position, screaming “Allah, take me!”, “Kill me now”, “Get rid of me”, and “God please forgive me”.
Mr Little said the defendant was heard singing: “I’m coming home, I’m coming home – Lord I am sorry”.
A large kitchen knife was also found in the living room.
Later at Lewisham Hospital, Jacques told officers “I ain’t even in the wrong, I did them for sacrifice”, “I will do something stupid again”, “all of them are for sacrifices, you gotta understand the pattern” and “I had to sacrifice for the greater good”, jurors heard.
Jacques, from Minard Road, Lewisham, south-east London, has pleaded guilty to their manslaughters but denies murdering them.
The trial continues.