Indefinite hospital order for man who killed former Wasps rugby player

PA

A “remorseless” schizophrenic who stabbed a former Wasps rugby player to death has been detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act.

Grandfather of five Allan Isichei, 69, described as his family’s “inspiration”, was attacked and killed as he walked home from his local pub in Southall, west London in August last year.

Gurjeet Lall, 36, was cleared of Mr Isichei’s murder but found guilty of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility at Inner London Crown Court in October.

Lall did not attend court on Monday because he “felt anxious” and was given a hospital order “without limit on time” under section 37 of the Mental Health Act of 1983 in his absence.

Mr Isichei, who has three children and five grandchildren, was a prop for Wasps rugby club during the 1970s and 1980s, and played nearly 200 games for the club’s first XV.

All three children, Emma, David and Daniel attended the sentencing, along with two grandchildren, Mr Isichei’s wife, Sandra, and his 93-year-old mother.

The court heard that Mr Isichei had been walking home from the Plough Inn near to his house when he had seen Lall spit on the pavement and confronted him.

Allan Isichei (Metropolitan Police/PA)
Allan Isichei (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Lall then spat again, causing an argument during which he produced a knife and stabbed Mr Isichei in the stomach.

Mr Isichei was able to crawl to a neighbour’s house to seek help but paramedics were unable to save his life.

Prosecutor Andrew Orchard QC described the “unimaginable” pain that Mr Isichei’s death had caused his family.

Reading a statement written by Mr Isichei’s daughter, he said: “My dad did not choose August 24 2019 to die, it was chosen for him by the man who stabbed him.

“The man that chose to arm himself with a knife on that day and use it in an unprovoked attack for reasons we are still unable to comprehend.

“That man is the one who chose that day for my dad to die in the most cruel and vicious way.

“Our family has attended court every day and had to relive the horrific way dad was killed.

“However, we are proud to represent our father, husband, brother and friend who is tragically not here to speak for himself.”

She added: “The lack of remorse (shown by Lall) has been an additional blow.”

The court heard from medical expert, Dr Marc Jeanneret, who agreed that Lall was “highly dangerous” and had been “duplicitous” by picking up prescriptions for his schizophrenia but not using the medication for many months.

Passing sentence, Judge Usha Karu said: “Allan Isichei was stabbed and killed over a trivial dispute.

“A life was needlessly lost.

“I have read the very moving victim statement written…on behalf of the family.

“(Mr Isichei) was a teacher, a mentor and an inspiration.”

“It was and still is not possible to say when the risk of (Lall) causing considerable harm to himself or others will be reduced sufficiently.”

The court heard previously that Lall, of Vine Cottages, St Mary’s Avenue South, had previously been arrested for possession of a knife in 2014 and 2019.

During the trial he told jurors he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia but could not remember the last time he took his medication.

Mr Isichei’s family have called for an inquiry into why Lall had been free to kill just months after having been arrested.

In a joint victim impact statement they said: “As always the voice of the victim is not heard, we can no longer ask him as he has been cruelly taken away from us.

“A pain we feel every day.

“We believe something must be done, we want to see some sort of positive come out of this.

“Authorities must answer the questions around why someone, with a history of mental illness, was arrested in January for carrying a knife and was released in April with no follow-up on whether they were taking the medication that could have made a difference.”

An NHS London spokesperson said: “We would like to offer our condolences to the family and friends of Mr Allan Isichei.

“We have been in contact with the family and have advised them that we are currently reviewing the case with a view to conducting an investigation in 2021.”

Judge Karu praised the Isichei family for their “remarkable composure” during the proceedings.

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