Man found guilty of murdering fiancée ‘not mentally ill’

Victim Sabrina Mullings, 38. Pic: Met Police

A man from Croydon is facing life behind bars for stabbing his fiancée to death as he ranted about “releasing demons” and “drinking blood”.

Ivan Griffin, 24, had claimed he was mentally ill when he killed Sabrina Mullings, 38, at her home in Upper Norwood in March this year.

Prosecutor Timothy Cray told jurors, who found Griffin guilty of murder, that this was just an attempt to disguise the truth, which was a “very old story which has its roots in male anger and aggression”.

Griffin had a previous conviction for assaulting a former girlfriend who was pregnant at the time. She described him as having a “controlling and aggressive personality”.

Before the killing, Griffin and Mullings appeared to be “loved-up” and talking about getting engaged and planning a honeymoon.

Just 12 hours before, the couple had been photographed by Mullings’ daughter dancing together, jurors heard.

On the morning of March 13, Mullings’ daughter Hayleigh was awoken to the sound of shouting coming from her mother’s room at the one-bedroom flat they shared.

She and her boyfriend Chaise Gore went across the corridor and witnessed a scene of “fear and extreme violence”, jurors heard.

The defendent was heard shouting about “releasing demons” and “drinking blood”.

Hayleigh testified that she heard her mother shouting for help, saying: “Hayleigh, if you love me you will call an ambulance, he’s stabbed himself and you need to save him.”

They saw blood start to seep out from under the door, and when Griffin opened the door, the front room and kitchen was covered in blood with Mullings’ naked body on the floor.

She was “minutes or seconds from death” having suffered two stab wounds to her stomach and chest, the court heard.

Griffin told Hayleigh and her boyfriend that he stabbed her mother because he loved her and stabbed himself in order to “join their blood together”.

Sabrina Mullings [right] and her daughter Hayleigh. Pic: Met Police

Griffin, who had superficial wounds, was picked up by police later that day walking around Southwark wearing nothing but a jacket.

Cray rejected the suggestion Griffin had developed a sudden and previously undiagnosed mental illness.

He accused Griffin of trying to “disguise what he did in the language of mental illness” as “a partial excuse for murder” even though he was “not mentally ill”.

In a victim impact statement, Marian Mullings, who broke down in tears in court, described her daughter as a “loving person who would very much wear her heart on her sleeve”.

“The loss and trauma of her death have been immense” she said, which meant that after going through the ordeal of the murder, Hayleigh and her boyfriend had to leave the house because it was in Sabrina’s name.

“Hayleigh has had trouble sleeping at all ever since. She says she keeps seeing everything that took place, her mum lying naked on the floor and bleeding, and she can’t get rid of the images. She feels lost and numb and like half of her heart has been ripped out,” she said.

“We are going to have to live with this forever. Our lives will never be the same without Sabrina.”

Detective Chief Inspector Will Reynolds, who led the investigation, said: “Griffin callously and viciously attacked a vulnerable, trusting woman that he purported to love and had asked to marry him.

“I am pleased that the jury did not accept the argument put forward of diminished responsibility and have rightly found Griffin fully accountable for his appalling actions of that terrible night on which Sabrina lost her life,” he added.

Sentencing was adjourned until a date to be fixed.

Additional reporting by the Press Association

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