First Ever Footage Inside UK Court Showing Killer Being Sentenced Makes History
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Ben Oliver, 25, was sentenced today (28 July) to life in prison with a minimum of 10 years following the death of his grandfather, 74-year-old David Oliver.
The elderly man was killed in Mottingham, south London, in January 2021, where he had lay 'helpless' in his bedroom following a stroke. He was found with 21 stab wounds to the face and seven stab wounds to the torso.
Oliver was cleared of murder at the Old Bailey, but admitted manslaughter due to diminished responsibility.
History was made as cameras filmed the moment Judge Sarah Munro passed down Oliver's life sentence, telling the court the elderly man had been stabbed in the mouth and eyes so he could not 'cry out' or 'look into [his grandson's] eyes' as the attack took place.
She described the killing as ‘ferocious but controlled’, telling Oliver: "You were making conscious decisions to attack his eyes and mouth, knowing you were killing him and why you were doing so."
Oliver was described as having had a traumatic childhood, having been badly bullied at school. When he was 15 years old, he was convicted of sexual offences against a young girl.
Jurors heard Oliver attacked his grandfather with the intention of killing him after learning about allegations against him of a historical sexual abuse of girls.
Prior to the killing, the 25-year-old was described as having been depressed and experiencing suicidal thoughts. He is said to have developed an 'obsessional tunnel vision' which led to the attack.
After the killing, Oliver sent a text message to his mother saying: "Mum, I've killed grandad. I love you."
His sentencing was broadcast as the government changed the law to allow the public to see and hear judges explain the reasoning behind their sentences.
Only the judge in the cases will be filmed during sentencing to protect the privacy of victims, witnesses and jurors, and cameras are not permitted to broadcast an entire trial.
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab explained: "Opening up the courtroom to cameras to film the sentencing of some the country’s most serious offenders will improve transparency and reinforce confidence in the justice system.
"The public will now be able to see justice handed down, helping them understand better the complex decisions judges make."