A burglar who stabbed a grandfather 22 times after he was disturbed has been convicted of murder.
Aaron De Silva, 22 of Warwick Road, Earls Court, was convicted at the Old Bailey on Tuesday of stabbing to death Joseph Griffiths in his own home in Fulham.
Mr Griffiths, 73, was pronounced dead at the scene and a post-mortem revealed the businessman died of multiple stab wounds. He had two grown-up sons and seven grandchildren.
De Silva previously admitted manslaughter - but this wasn't accepted by the jury - and aggravated burglary. He will be sentenced on Friday.
Detective Inspector Simon Pickford, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said after the verdict: “De Silva is an extremely violent individual who had no hesitation in stabbing the victim repeatedly in a frenzied and brutal attack after he was disturbed having broken into Mr Griffiths' home. I must pay tribute to Mr Griffiths' family who have been left utterly devastated by what happened. They have conducted themselves with the utmost restraint and dignity throughout this tragic incident and my and my team's thoughts are with them.”
The victim had enjoyed an evening out with his wife visiting friends on November 9 2012. The guests stayed overnight at the Griffiths' home in Hazlebury Road, Fulham. At about 6.20am the following morning one of the guests was awoken by a commotion and shouting.
Downstairs they discovered the victim's wife sobbing and screaming and Mr Griffiths lying in the hallway on his back with his dressing gown covered in blood. A lock knife was found near the murder scene, in Snowbury Road. Blood on the handle matched that of the victim. A partial DNA profile matching De Silva was found on the handle.
CCTV showed De Silva back at his hostel around an hour after the murder listening to music, seemingly entirely unaffected by what he had just done.
He was arrested on November 13 2012 and charged two days later.
In an impact statement the victim’s son Mark, said: “The murder of Joe in such a brutal and senseless manner has left a gaping hole not only in our immediate family but also the families of all who knew him.
“The whole family, and our circle of friends, still feel a deep sorrow and sense of loss since Joe’s murder. Members of our family have had to deal with recurring nightmares, triggered by that fateful day. We can only hope that with the passage of time these nightmares and feelings will lessen.
“Judy (mum) took the brave decision to return to the house where her husband was murdered, trying to live her life as normally as possible. This is the house where she and Joe had lived for 50 years, where one of her children was born and where both sons were raised.
“He is, and will always be, sorely missed by everyone.”
In a separate case today, barber Donovan Golding was jailed for 15 years for stabbing his ex girlfriend 13 times and leaving her paralysed from the neck down.