‘Mistaken’ elderly uncle spared prison after killing nephew

16:48 04 December 2012

Picture: PA

Picture: PA

PA Wire/Press Association Images

A pensioner who killed his nephew after mistaking him for a burglar has been spared jail after a judge took pity on him.

Ezekiel McCarthy, 85, one of the oldest people to appear at the Old Bailey, was handed a nine-month sentenced for nine months suspended for two years, with a supervision order.

Judge Peter Beaumont said it was extremely unlikely he would offend again.

He told him: “You took the life of a wholly innocent man who had shown you nothing but friendship and support.”

But the judge said he had received reports, including those from members of the family, which showed what sort of person he really was.

The Old Bailey heard McCarthy was confused when he plunged a knife into Desbert Welsh, 50.

Last month, he denied murder and his plea to manslaughter was accepted by the prosecution.

Mr Welsh died on November 13 last year at McCarthy’s ground-floor flat in sheltered accommodation at Brondesbury Park, Cricklewood, north London.

The pair had been drinking and celebrating McCarthy’s birthday a few days earlier.

They arrived at McCarthy’s home in the early hours and in the morning, he stabbed Mr Welsh.

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

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

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

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

Related articles

Latest Stories

The Mayor of London said that three 23-year-old water cannon had arrived in the UK from germany and were being refurbished at a secret location (Picture via Getty Images)

Boris Johnson has confirmed that the crowd control water cannon he has bought for the Met have been shipped to the UK and are being prepared for use.

Read more
Kella lured his victim to the flat of a known drug user in the Little Venice area before tying him up and attacking him with a dumbbell and a knife  (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

A man has been jailed after he kidnapped, tortured and threatened to kill a man he believed owed him money.

Read more
The suspect is white, in his 40s or 50s, with short spiky hair and chubby cheeks. He was wearing a grey suit and spoke with an English accent [e-fit from British Transport Police]

Police have released an e-fit to help catch a predator who seriously sexually assaulted a man on a Tube train.

Read more

Quirky London

Quizzes

Take our quiz and see how much you know about the Wimbledon Tennis Championships (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Do you know SW19 like the back of your hand? From Henman Hill to Centre Court, Fred Perry to Andy Murray? Well then you should ace our Wimbledon quiz:

Read more
Croatia's Daniel Prajnic, France's Paul Pogba and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo... three hair-raising World Cup stars (Picture: Archant/Getty)

The World Cup is a showcase of fantastic football... and terrible hairstyles. Try this quiz and test your knowledge of the wackiest barnets in Brazil.

Read more
World Cup countries quiz

It's about time you refreshed your brains about the countries competing in Brazil.

Read more
How much do you know about films in London? (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Do you know your Lock Stock from your Long Good Friday, Sliding Doors from Shakespeare in Love?

Read more
Instead of actually going to a park, take our quiz about them... (Picture: Warrick Page/Getty Images)

Think-Kew have got what it takes?

Read more