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Man who stabbed neighbour to death ‘absconds from mental health facility’

Philip Theophilou left the mental health facility in Homerton on Sunday and has not returned, police said.


A man who stabbed his neighbour to death in 2004 has absconded from a mental health facility in east London, sparking a police appeal.

Philip Theophilou, 54, left the facility in Homerton on Sunday and has not returned, the Metropolitan Police said.

Theophilou admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility after killing Simon Breed, 51, in a knife attack, then living rough in Hyde Park for three days before he was caught, the Old Bailey heard in 2005.

Mr Breed received six stab wounds and several defence wounds, after Theophilou lay in wait for him with a kitchen knife outside their house in Cornwall Avenue, Alexandra Park.

CCTV image of Philip Theophilou.
CCTV image of Philip Theophilou (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Theophilou ran to the park from his home in north London, leaving Mr Breed dying outside his house.

He was sent to Broadmoor special hospital without limit of time under the Mental Health Act, in November 2005.

Doctors said he suffered from schizophrenia but had not been taking his medication at the time of the killing in April 2004.

Police believe he travelled to the Green Park area on Sunday at about 11.25am.

He was wearing a grey jumper, blue jeans, and a black jacket.

Officers and medical professionals are concerned at his lack of access to medication and the risk he may pose without it.

Theophilou had caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to Mr Breed’s house and car with a meat cleaver in January 2003.

The attack followed building work started by Mr Breed shortly after he moved in 2002, and which had caused a crack in the next door house that Theophilou shared with his parents, the court heard.

He was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and released from St Ann’s Hospital in August 2003.

There were no problems until eight months later when Mr Breed was attacked at night as he returned from playing at a folk club.

Paul Brogan, defending, said Theophilou had been discharged from hospital in 2003 in apparently “unsatisfactory circumstances”.

“There was a failure to monitor or treat him after discharge,” said Mr Brogan.

Anyone who sees Theophilou should not approach him. Instead, call 999 immediately quoting CAD 3598/31Mar.

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