A young man with a mental illness has admitted stabbing a renowned academic to death on his doorstep 11 days after the victim had become a father.
Dr Jeroen Ensink, 41, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, left his flat in Islington, north London, on 29 December last year to post cards to family and friends announcing the birth of his daughter.
However, metres from the front door of the home, Ensink was repeatedly stabbed by 23-year-old Femi Nandap, who had been facing charges for a knife offence until they were dropped days earlier.
Ensink’s wife Nadja, who was looking after the newborn at home, became concerned when her husband failed to return. She went outside to discover police had cordoned off the street and the cards her husband had been carrying were strewn on the pavement and splattered in blood.
Ensink was pronounced dead shortly after 1.50pm.
At a brief hearing at the Old Bailey on Thursday, Nandap, of Woolwich, south-east London, admitted the manslaughter of Ensink by reason of diminished responsibility; the case was adjourned until 10 October for sentencing.
It can now be reported that Nandap had three serious charges, including a knife offence, dropped at magistrates court on Christmas Eve, five days before the killing.
At an earlier hearing, now-retired judge Charles Wide said there would be public concern about the decision. He said: I have no idea what the circumstances were. I can see there may be some public concern about that.
The defendant had also breached earlier bail conditions by travelling to Nigeria and Wide questioned why he was not also prosecuted for that offence. There may be considerable public concern for this: the bail [offence] as well as the discontinued offences.
Ensink, originally from the Netherlands, was a renowned water engineer who worked to improve access to water and sanitation in the developing world.
At the time of the killing, Prof Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: Dr Ensink joined the school almost a decade ago, and at the time of his death he was leading a large study in the Democratic Republic of Congo to understand how improvements in water supply could control and prevent cholera outbreaks.
Nandap appeared at the Old Bailey via videolink from Broadmoor high-security hospital. He spoke only to confirm his name and enter his plea.
The heavily built defendant, who has a history of mental health problems, said he was not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.
The prosecutor, Duncan Atkinson QC, accepted the plea, saying: There has been extensive psychiatric consideration in this case and the consensus of opinion is clear, cogent and unanimous.
In that clear and unanimous psychiatric opinion there was an abnormality of mental function at that time that diminished his responsibility.
Atkinson said the decision not to pursue the murder charge was taken in communication with the victim’s family, who were not present for the hearing.
Julian Hendy, of the charity Hundredfamilies, said: This is another deeply distressing case of an innocent man and young family destroyed by the violent actions of a seriously mentally ill offender.
These cases are happening now far too often and we await with interest the results of the psychiatric investigations to see if there were opportunities that could have prevented this terrible tragedy.
News Source TheGuardianNews