Kilburn man, 84, admits killing his nephew from Harlesden

Ezekiel McCarthy mistook Desbert Welsh for a burglar

A Kilburn octogenarian has appeared at the Old Bailey today where he admitted killing his nephew after mistaking him for a burglar.

Ezekiel McCarthy, 84, of Knightleas Court in Brondesbury Park, was said to be confused when he plunged a knife into 50-year-old Desbert Welsh.

Mr McCarthy, who is one of the oldest men to appear in the Old Bailey dock, denied murder and his plea to a manslaughter charge was accepted by the prosecution.

The incident happened on November 13 last year at McCarthy’s ground-floor flat in sheltered accommodation.

Mr Welsh, who lived in West Ella Road, Harlesden, had been drinking and celebrating his uncle’s birthday.

They arrived at McCarthy’s home in the early hours and in the morning, he knocked on a neighbour’s home seeking help.

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A woman friend saw McCarthy outside holding a knife with blood on it, said Jonathan Rees, QC, prosecuting.

McCarthy told her: “This bloody man. I don’t know how he got in my room.”

He later told police: “I was defending myself.”

Mr Rees said: “This is a dreadfully sad case involving the killing of a nephew by his uncle, thinking he was an unknown intruder.”

Medical reports indicated that McCarthy had suffered an acute episode of delirium or confusion brought about by medical conditions linked to his age.

Mr Welsh died three days later from a stab wound which pierced his liver and caused complications.

Alex Milne QC, defending, said the death had had an impact on the whole family.

McCarthy could not believe what he had done and could not associate the victim with his nephew.

Mr Milne said: “He is destroyed. He is mortified. He could not in his wildest dreams harm his nephew.”

McCarthy was bailed to December 4 for reports on his dangerousness.

Judge Peter Beaumont, the Recorder of London, warned him that all options were still open to the court.