New inquest ordered into death of murder victim found to have died accidentally
A fresh inquest will take place into the death of a man who was wrongly found to have died accidentally before video footage of his murder came to light.
Peter Fasoli was tortured to death in January 2013 by Jason Marshall, who posed as an MI5 agent then stripped, gagged, handcuffed and smothered the 58-year-old with cling film after meeting him on dating website Badoo, the Old Bailey heard.
Following an inquest into Mr Fasoli’s death held at West London Coroner’s Court, a verdict of accidental death was recorded in August 2013.
But, at the High Court in London on Tuesday, two senior judges quashed the original verdict and ordered that a new inquest must take place.
Marshall stole nearly £800 from his victim before setting alight his bungalow in Northolt, west London, to cover his tracks.
He then fled to Italy, where he killed a second man and attacked a third before finally being caught.
Marshall, then 29, was jailed in September 2017 for a minimum of 39 years for the “sadistic” killing of Mr Fasoli, which was only discovered when his nephew stumbled across harrowing webcam footage of the murder on his uncle’s computer hard drive.
Lawyers acting on behalf of the Senior Coroner for West London applied to quash the original verdict so a fresh inquest can be carried out.
Lord Justice Hickinbottom, sitting with Mrs Justice Lambert, said the case concerned “quite extraordinary facts”.
Giving a brief ruling, the judge said the fire brigade were called to reports of a fire in Northolt on January 7 2013.
Mr Fasoli was found unresponsive and taken to hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival, he added.
The judge said that “no evidence of an assault or a restraint by a third party” was found in a post-mortem examination, and that a report from the London Fire Brigade concluded that the fire was likely accidentally caused by an “LED bulb falling onto bedding”.
But, he said, police “reinvestigated the circumstances” surrounding Mr Fasoli’s death after the video footage of his killing was recovered, leading to Marshall’s conviction.
“In all the circumstances, it is clearly necessary and desirable in the interests of justice that a fresh inquest and investigation should take place,” the judge concluded.
The trial judge at the Old Bailey said Marshall, from East Ham, east London – who was by then serving 16 years for the attacks he committed in Italy – “felt no remorse whatsoever” for the killing.
Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC also raised concerns that the police failed to detect the murder of Mr Fasoli for nearly two years.
The judge said that social media records showed Marshall was coming to Mr Fasoli’s home on the evening of the murder and that Mr Fasoli’s bank card was used after his death.
He added that he wanted to “express the hope that someone who is in a position to do so, so far as the Met Police is concerned, will look at whether procedures for investigations are sufficiently comprehensive and robust in such circumstances”.