Man on trial for attempted murder of girlfriend was in drug-induced psychosis

Prince Rodriguez, 23, of Hackney, was sentenced to four years in jail at the Old Bailey

A man on trial for the attempted murder of his girlfriend had been experiencing a psychotic episode, the Old Bailey has heard - Credit: PA

A man on trial for the attempted murder of his girlfriend had been experiencing a psychotic episode, the Old Bailey has heard.

While giving evidence at the Central Criminal Court, 22-year-old Junior Gbadamosi described how he was having delusional thoughts that people were out to kill him.

Gbadamosi - from Lawrence Court on Haggerston's De Beauvoir Estate - was found to have proclaimed 'Die in the name of Jesus' as he beat Zehra Mamalai with a cat scratcher and guitar at her home on March 23.

The 22-year-old recounted how he barely slept for four days before he launched the attack on the woman he claims he "felt nothing but love for".

He recalled how Ms Mamalai wanted him to stop smoking cannabis - which he would smoke "four or five times a week" - while he also wanted to further his goals of going to university and starting his own business.

However when he tried to do so, he wasn't able to sleep - "because I had a bit of a habit".

He told jurors that he did not sleep at all on Friday - March 19 - while another sleepless night on Saturday left him "feeling paranoid".

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Ms Mamalai drove him to Argos to collect a microwave on Monday morning, and that afternoon he remembers "seeing things on my phone making me think I was going to be killed, that I was going to die". 

"At that moment I was freaking out," he said.

His mother went to Dalston to buy him sleeping tablets, but before she could return, he ran away "because I remember thinking something is going to come inside my house".

First he visited a friend, who phoned his mother to alert her of his strange behaviour, and then he ran to his sister's house.

"They were saying to me, 'What's going on?' I was saying: 'People are going to kill me and I'm going to die'. I remember saying that," he said.

Defence barrister Clea Topolski asked: "When you were saying those words, did you mean them?"

"The state I was in, I don't know, if I meant them," he replied.

"If I was myself as I am today I wouldn't have said that but at that time I was believing these things."

Two of his closest friends eventually found him lying on the floor in Shoreditch Park, and took him back home where his mother gave him two sleeping tablets.

Gbadamosi claims he then has no recollection of events until he was arrested naked in the road next to Shoreditch Park by police officers the next day.

By that point he had already attacked Ms Mamalai in her flat alongside her two neighbours outside who had tried to intervene. 

Ms Topolski said: "You said: 'Die in the name of Jesus' and 'I paint you in Jesus blood'. Do you remember?"

"No," he replied.

"We know you beat her around the head with a cat scratcher. We also know you beat her around the head and on her arms with a guitar until it broke. Do you remember that?"

He replied: "No." 

"I never intended to kill or harm her in any way. I do accept it was me that did this thing, but it would not make sense for me to go and do that to Zarah.

"When I hear some of the things that went on in the case I can't come to terms [with the fact] it was me."

Ms Topolski asked: "Do you accept the symptoms of psychosis in the broad sense were linked to your use of cannabis, in that you had been taking cannabis and you stopped taking cannabis?"

"Yes," he replied.

She continued: "There is no dispute that your psychosis that Dr Berman diagnosed on March 23 was drug induced and it was drug induced by you smoking cannabis. How do you feel about cannabis in general?"

"I feel it's negative. The fact it brought me here. I'm actually scared of that drug. I just never want to ever ever touch that again," said Gbadamosi.

Gbadamosi denies attempted murder, but has pleaded guilty to assault by beating and wounding without intent.