Jailed: Life sentence for man who murdered former City of Westminster College teacher

Menelaos Aligizakis died in January this year

Menelaos Aligizakis died in January this year - Credit: Archant

A man who murdered a music teacher who once taught at the City of Westminster College in Paddington has been jailed for life today.

City of Westminster College is in Paddington (Pic credit: Google)

City of Westminster College is in Paddington (Pic credit: Google) - Credit: Archant

Mark Patten, 30, punched, kicked and stamped on Menelaos Aligizakis’ head in an unprovoked attack minutes after they both left the same club in Waterloo.

The Old Bailey heard Mr Aligizakis, a talented classical pianist and respected academic, had been at the club with some friends and there had been no interaction with his killer in the early hours of January 3 this year.

CCTV footage captured shows Patten and his friend leaving the club followed by Mr Aligizakis three minutes later and they are seen walking along and engaging in a good natured conversation.

As they turned into another street Patten launched his murderous unprovoked attack with Mr Aligizakis unable to defend himself as he had his hands in his pocket.

Patten, from Thornton Heath, punches Mr Aligizakis to the floor before kicking and stamping on his head as he lies motionless.

Afterwards Patten and his friend try to flee on a bus but witnesses had informed the driver of his actions and he refused to let them on.

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Patten was arrested nearby.

Mr Aligizakis, a Greek national, was rushed to hospital but died at 3.30am.

His cause of death was given as blunt force trauma to the head.

Today he was jailed for life with a minimum tariff of 17 years.

Detective Chief Inspector Will Reynolds, investigating officer, said: “Mr Aligizakis’s death was a result of a senseless and unprovoked act of brutality inflicted by Patten who has given no real reason as to why he attacked a defenceless man who had simply been enjoying a night out.

“Patten will now serve a lengthy sentence and he will no doubt spend time reflecting upon his actions of that day, as well as thinking about the innocent lives totally devastated by the loss Mr Aligizakis.”

Paying tribute to his son, his father George Aligizakis a retired barrister, said: “Menelaos was a charismatic, real and substantial person. He loved everyone and committed his strength and energy to help all who needed help. With his volunteering in all facets of life, of helping the poor, the homeless, giving them money, food, medication and donating his blood.

“A hug from my child solved all the problems. I have saved his text messages full of love, I read them everyday and with the passing I feel his absence even greater, the unbearable loss. His father has become a hunched over little old man who drags his feet from his depression. I hurt so very much for my daughter, my husband and myself for the unbearable absence of our child.

“But most of all I hurt for Menelaos, my child, who without reason, someone took his beautiful life.”

“I am a retired barrister and during the entire length of my career, with all the cases that I have had to handle and all the ugliness that I have seen and felt, nothing compares to such a horrific loss as is the loss of my son, in such an uncomprehending manner.

“I am really devastated and I still don’t think that words can describe my psychological emptiness for life following this horrific loss of my beloved child.

“Moreover, my son was a joy in our lives as he filled our house with all his friends and colleagues who visited us frequently in order to exchange ideas, philosophical points of view and political discussions with me and my son.

“My son was a giver either financially or emotionally and everyone who had met him made the same comment; there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for anyone who needed help. He was an inspiration to us, his family, his students and his friends.”

His mother Irini Aligizakis, added: “Joy has been replaced with pain, hopelessness and despair, not for myself, his mother but for his father and sister.

“The murderer not only killed Menelaos but his family as well.”

Related link: Man accused of killing teacher who previously taught in Cricklewood