16 July 2008
A cannabis-crazed maniac stabbed a Good Samaritan 100 times with scissors and knives as he tried to protect his elderly neighbour.
Rafiq Kashmiri, 50, launched the frenzied attack on Jon Cooper-Taylor after he rushed upstairs to help the 83-year-old woman after hearing the sound of crockery smashing in her flat.
The self-employed IT consultant, a six-foot one-inch ‘gentle giant’, burst in to find the distraught pensioner trying to get Kenyan Kashmiri out of her flat.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had met Kashmiri after he came to her aid when she fell on a bus and walked her back to her home in May 2006.
But several weeks later he turned up unexpectedly at her house and refused to leave.
When Mr Cooper-Taylor turned up and attempted to reason with Kashmiri, he pulled out a pair of scissors and a knife and repeatedly stabbed and slashed the 60-year-old as well as attacking the lady.
The father-of-one died in hospital from loss of blood, caused by the vast number of wounds to his head, neck, arms and body.
Kashmiri admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and was jailed for life today.
He also admitted wounding and indecently assaulting the woman.
Psychiatrists discovered he was suffering from a manic episode bipolar disorder caused by a long history of cannabis dependency and abuse which caused ‘uncontrollable violence’.
Kashmiri, who moved to the UK as a child, was jailed for life at the Old Bailey and ordered to serve a minimum of 10 years.
The woman suffered five cuts to her face and a fractured rib and right wrist. She contracted superbug MRSA while recovering.
In a moving statement read to the court, Mr Cooper-Taylor’s son Timothy Taylor said his father was a ‘handyman, carer and watchful eye over his neighbours’.
He added: ‘The fact my father went to the aid of his neighbour comes as no surprise given his disposition to help others.’
The court heard Kashmiri was convicted of threatening his wife and children in 1996 and 1997 while living in New South Wales, Australia.
He was locked up in 2005 after walking in to a shop in Tooting, South West London, with an imitation handgun while a patient at the nearby Springfield psychiatric hospital.
Prosecutor Riel Karmy-Jones said: ‘He has a lengthy history (of mental illness) due to many years of cannabis dependency and abuse.
‘When he abuses cannabis he suffers manic episodes in which he can be uncontrollably violent.
‘He has used a knife on a number of occasions. There is no sign of him giving up cannabis abuse and therefore he poses a significant risk in the future.’
Detective Chief Inspector Damian Allain said: ‘There is a misconception that cannabis is not harmful and clearly this case demonstrates that it is. Heavy use of cannabis can impact on a person’s mental health.
‘Mr Cooper Taylor was an upstanding member of the community who went to help a neighbour. He tragically lost his life and this poor elderly lady has been left physically and mentally scarred.’