A former bank worker has been detained indefinitely under the mental health act after admitting to murdering a Colombian woman in her Earl’s Court flat.
Robert Richard Fraser, 40, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, will be detained in high-security psychiatric hospital Broadmoor. He pleaded guilty on Friday December 19, via video link at the Old Bailey to killing Maria Duque-Tunjano and taking a mobile phone and £150 in cash.
On Friday, January 31, the body of Ms Duque-Tunjano was found by a friend in the bedroom of a flat in Earls Court Square.
After the killing police launched a man hunt as Fraser evaded arrest for four days. He was finally apprehended on February 4 in Leicester Square after a member of the public recognised him and called police.
Prosecutor Simon Denison QC accepted a plea of guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Ms Duque-Tunjano was working as an escort at the time of her death to support her family in Colombia and the UK and had agreed to entertain Fraser as a client.
The court heard that Fraser bludgeoned her to death after becoming convinced that she was his enemy.
Her battered body was later found in her flat still dressed in the black corset and high heels she had changed into.
Fraser was also convicted of robbery in relation to an attack he carried out on another sex worker ten days before the murder. He had been identified as a suspect in this attack on a 27-year-old sex worker after his DNA was found at the scene.
Fraser pleaded not guilty to false imprisonment and sexual assault but admitted robbing her of £1,000 during a terrifying and sustained attack.
Mr Denison said: “She was convinced during it that he was going to kill her.”
The prosecutor described how Fraser grabbed the woman and stuffed her underwear into her mouth and she tried to fend him off with a high-heeled shoe.
The court heard she only escaped after she ‘managed to grab his testicles and squeeze as hard as she could’.
He has suffered from persecutory delusions since 2009 and believes the devil represents women, the Old Bailey heard.
Sentencing Fraser, Judge John Bevan said: “You represent an ongoing and very real danger to women, which is likely to continue. I am persuaded that the right course here in the interests of justice and of yourself is to make an order under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act.”
Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Wall, Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “Fraser was clearly a danger to women and in particular sex workers, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the media and the general public for the assistance they provided to the police during the four-days in which a manhunt to locate Fraser was underway.”
Fraser’s defence counsel told the court that the former bank worker was known to psychiatric services as far back as 2009, but had not received the attention he needed.
Three months before Ms Duque-Tunjano’s killing, he had tried to get help in hospital, but was forced to leave because he was threatened with arrest for bed blocking.