Life for man who murdered girlfriend and three of her family

Joshua Jacques from Lewisham sentenced to life Pic: Met Police

A Lewisham man has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 46 years after murdering his girlfriend and her three family members in one night.

Joshua Jacques, 29, killed his girlfriend, Samantha Drummonds, 27, her mother Tanysha Ofori-Akuffo, 45, her grandmother Dolet Hill, 64 and her husband Denton Burke, 68, in a property in Bermondsey in April 2022, according to the Met Police. The crime scene was described by police as “a horror movie”.

The judge, Mr Justice Bryan, described Jacques’s crime as a “horrific catalogue of murders […] in the most brutal of circumstances on three generations of the same family” and that it was done with “no apparent reason”, according to a Courts and Tribunals Judiciary document.  

Jacques made a statement to the jury apologising for his actions and said he was “disgusted” with himself, but the judge added that prior to sentencing, Jacques expressed no remorse.

‘Drug-induced psychosis’

The judge ruled his behaviour as “drug-induced psychosis” and that “it is a salutary lesson to all those who peddle the myth that cannabis is not a dangerous drug”.

Jacques was found guilty of murder in December. He was arrested by armed officers at the crime scene where he was found naked screaming “Allah, take me, kill me” and “God, please forgive me”.

Later in Lewisham hospital he said “I did them for sacrifice” and “I will do something stupid again”.

Following the sentence hearing, Hill’s daughter told BBC reporters outside the court that Jacques should have been handed a whole life order but justice had still been served.

Hill, Jacques’s girlfriend’s grandmother, had been recovering from cancer and had just completed her final treatment before she was murdered in her home beside her husband.

Dolent Hill and Denton Burke Pic:PA

The judge paid tribute to the victims and their families and added: “No sentence will ever be enough to reflect their loss.”

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