Joy Morgan murder trial: Cricklewood man ‘took more painkillers than prescribed’ due to health problems, court hears

Joy Morgan. Photo: Herts Police

Joy Morgan. Photo: Herts Police - Credit: Archant

The Cricklewood man accused of murdering midwifery student Joy Morgan had health problems and would sometimes become “confused” after exceeding his prescribed medicine dosage, a court heard.

Shohfah-El Israel, 40, of Fordwych Road, is on trial at Reading Crown Court for allegedly killing Ms Morgan, who he knew through the Israel United in Christ church in Ilford.

The court has heard that Ms Morgan, who was studying at the University of Hertfordshire, has not been seen or heard from since she attended a church celebration on Boxing Day last year.

Allowed to sit while giving evidence on Tuesday, Israel said he had been afflicted by stomach problems since his late teens, suffered a "mini-stroke" in his mid-20s and had been "reliant" on painkillers for many years.

Israel said he suffered from urinary incontinence and if he did not take medication could "end up in hospital".

In 2018, Israel said he was "uncomfortable" when going to church so "would take more than I was supposed [to]".

"I would get confused," he said of the effects, giving an example of frequently re-checking if he had locked his door."

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Israel told the court he had been born in Lagos, Nigeria, and had lived in the UK since 1997 and that he has a 21-year-old son from a previous relationship with a "high school sweetheart".

Israel added he had once run a security company and micro finance business operating in Kenya, but lost his security license due to "influence from the government".

He married his current wife Chindu Israel in 2016 and it was through his wife that he joined the United in Christ church - where the couple became close to Ms Morgan, who he described as "100 per cent part of the family".

The court has previously heard that Israel initially told police he'd dropped Ms Morgan off at her Hatfield home, after the church event on December 26.

But he later told officers he had in fact brought her back to Cricklewood, where she stayed on his sofa for two nights. He claimed he dropped her back in Hatfield on the evening of December 28 and that was the last time he saw her.

Israel denies killing Ms Morgan between December 26 and December 30 2018.

Court report by PA