Brent cemetery stabbing: Man given hospital order after killing stranger

Victim Michael Morris Owens. Picture: Met Police

Victim Michael Morris Owens - Credit: Archant

A man who killed a stranger in a Brent cemetery by stabbing him more than 30 times in an unprovoked attack has been given an indefinite hospital order.

Cornelius Tully, 51, of High Street, Brent, stabbed Michael Morris-Owens, 62, in the cemetery off Harrow Road, in Kensal Green, on November 22 last year.

Members of public bore witness to the harrowing attack, and alerted emergency services, but despite the best efforts of paramedics, Mr Morris-Owens was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Detectives from the specialist crime command carried out extensive enquiries to piece together the circumstances of the attack.

CCTV footage showed Mr Morris-Owens sitting on a bench when he was approached by Tully who was seen to be carrying a large knife, who without warning stabbed him multiple times.

Mr Morris-Owens could be seen trying to escape from Tully and to get into his car that was parked nearby.

But sadly, Tully reached him before he could get inside, and he suffered more than 30 stab wounds.

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Armed firearms officers quickly arrived on the scene and found Tully with blood on his hands.

A large knife was recovered and taken for forensic testing.

Tully pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at the Old Bailey and was sentenced at the same court yesterday (November 11).

Det Ch Insp Katherine Goodwin, of the specialist crime command, said: “Tully’s shocking and completely unprovoked attack not only took Michael’s life but left his family and friends suffering a huge loss which they are still coming to terms with.

“As the CCTV showed, Michael had little chance of defending himself against Tully’s violent actions, which were carried out in front of a number of members of the public.

"We would like to thank them for their bravery and for providing us with key information which assisted our investigation.”

Tully will not be discharged from hospital unless the Ministry of Justice or a tribunal grants permission; any discharge may be subject to certain conditions.

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