Man sentenced to hospital order for manslaughter of his neighbour in Brent

[VICTIM]: Anthony Higgins, who was aged 62

A man has been sentenced to an indefinite hospital order for the manslaughter of his neighbour in Brent.

Victor Osei, 41 (02.11.79) of Priestley House, HA9, attacked 62-year-old Anthony Higgins in the living room of Osei’s flat on 12 September last year. The two men were friends and had lived next door to each other for many years.

Osei entered a guilty plea for manslaughter through diminished responsibility at the Central Criminal Court on Friday, 6 August.

Mr Higgins was struck over the head repeatedly with a block of wood which had been carved in to the shape of a female head. It is still not clear exactly what interaction was exchanged between the two men in the preceding moments.

Osei then dragged the unconscious Mr Higgins to the front door of his own flat, where he found was found by a neighbour who called police. Officers and London Ambulance Service paramedics attended and performed CPR, but Mr Higgins was pronounced dead at the scene.

When police arrived at Osei’s flat, he had barricaded himself in and told police that he had a loaded gun. Firearms officers attended the scene and arrested Osei before taking him in to custody.

Officers conducted a forensic examination of Osei’s flat, where he lived alone, and the communal balcony outside Mr Higgins’ address, and found overwhelming evidence linking Osei to the incident.

Osei was found to be suffering from a chronic mental health condition following a psychiatric review.

Acting Detective Inspector Brett Hagen, from the Met’s Specialist Crime command for North London, said: “Mr Higgins, a gentleman known to all the local residents as a caring, kind and funny man, was subjected to an inexplicably violent attack which will no doubt be ingrained in the memory of his extensive family for the rest of their lives.

“The various teams of officers involved in this case worked to examine the crime scene at length and bring forward a robust casefile which ultimately helped to secure a guilty plea, and will see Osei transferred to a secure facility indefinitely.

“I hope that this conviction and sentence gives Mr Higgins’ family some respite, and we will continue to be on hand to support them in any way we can moving forwards.”