A homeowner who stabbed a violent burglar to death when he caught the thief trying to steal his TV has been cleared of murder.
Errol Hanson knifed Mohammed Savare more than 50 times after a violent struggle ensued but has walked free from court after a jury found him not guilty on Tuesday (19 December).
The court had heard that Savare received 30 wounds to the neck alone during an altercation in the early hours of 19 June in Catford, south London.
Southwark Crown Court was told that the 26-year-old burglar sneaked into Hanson's front door at around 4.30am and tried to steal a phone and TV.
The News Shopper reported that the 51-year-old Hanson was a paranoid schizophrenic and had certain rituals that included cleaning up the street outside his home.
Whilst Hanson left his front door open Savare, who had slept under a park bench slipped into his home, the court was told.
Toxicology tests revealed that Savare had been four times the legal drink-drive limit and had recently smoked cannabis.
Hanson spotted the intruder with his TV in his hands and his mobile phone in the burglar's pocket. A violent struggle then ensued where the defence said Hanson was headbutted and punched.
At some point Savare was locked outside in the patio area of the property and Hanson went and fetched a knife which he used to repeatedly stab the burglar, the court was told.
Hanson denied murder on the basis of self defence and the jury was not asked to consider an alternative charge of manslaughter.
Defending, Christopher Henley QC, said Hanson told police he was terrified and was trying to get the intruder out of the house.
"Mr Savare's behaviour defies all rationality," Henley said according to the Mail Online. "We know from his previous convictions the relentlessness of his violence towards resistance.
"This is absolutely consistent with how he has behaved in the past."
For the Crown, Lisa Wilding QC argued: "His (Mr Hanson's) actions were in fact neither necessary to defend himself, as the intruder was by now outside the property, neither were they reasonable, and were therefore not done in lawful self-defence."