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Man sentenced for killing his neighbour

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A man has been sentenced for the manslaughter of his 76-year-old female neighbour.

Aaron Cook, 24 (19.06.98) of St Luke’s Road, W11, was sentenced to a hospital order under Section 37/41 of the Mental Health Act at the Old Bailey on Monday, 23 January after he killed 76-year-old Bella Nicandro.

He pleaded guilty at the same court on Friday, 25 November to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.

Police were called at approximately 14:10hrs on Saturday, 14 August to reports of a disturbance in St Luke’s Road, W11.

Officers, London’s Air Ambulance and London Ambulance Service (LAS) attended.

At the scene Cook had been seen running into the street from a residential address covered in blood.

He was immediately detained by multiple members of the public and was handcuffed by an off duty prison officer to await police arrival.

Officers arrested Cook on suspicion of murder and he was taken to St Mary’s Hospital for treatment to facial injuries sustained when he was detained on the street, and also for a mental health assessment.

Throughout the various stages of his restraint Cook repeatedly claimed to be ‘God’ and to be able to commit violent crimes with impunity.

Inside an address, which was a multi occupancy building, officers found 76-year-old Bella Nicandro, who was suffering with multiple stab wounds. Medics fought to save Bella’s life, but sadly, despite their best efforts, she was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination conducted on 17 August 2021 found Bella’s cause of death were stab wounds to the neck. She had suffered 14 knife wounds, some of which were to her hand where she had tried to shield herself from the blows.

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Detective Inspector Adam Guttridge led the investigation said: “This was a tragic incident. Cook is schizophrenic and is prone to drug induced psychosis which requires medication that we believe he had stopped taking. He was also using drugs which exacerbated his condition.

“We would like to thank the members of the public who bravely detained Cook at the scene of this incident.

“The family of Bella Nicandro have been dignified throughout what has been a lengthy process to reach this point. They hope now to be able to grieve privately.”

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