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Man admits to ‘shocking and unprovoked’ attack in cemetery

A 50-year-old man has admitted causing the death of a man who was stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack in a cemetery in north-west London.

Cornelius Tully, 50, of Brent, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey today (Tuesday, 14 September), to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

An investigation was launched after police were called to reports of a stabbing in a cemetery off Harrow Road in Kensal Green on 22 November 2020.

Officers attended along with the London Ambulance Service and found a 62-year-old man suffering from stab injuries.

Despite the efforts of emergency services he was pronounced dead at the scene. He was later identified as Michael Morris-Owens, who was aged 50.

Detectives from the Specialist Crime Command carried out extensive enquiries to piece together the circumstances of the attack. This included speaking to witnesses and collecting CCTV from the area.

The footage showed Mr Morris-Owens sitting on a bench when he was approached by Tully who was seen to be carrying a large knife. Without warning he stabbed the victim several times.

Mr Morris-Owens was then seen trying to get away from Tully and attempting to get into a nearby car. Sadly, Tully reached him before he could get inside the vehicle. The victim suffered more than 30 stab wounds.

Armed firearms officers quickly arrived on the scene and found Tully with blood on his hands. A large knife was recovered and taken for forensic testing.

Tully will be sentenced at the same court on Friday, 29 October.

Detective Chief Inspector Katherine Goodwin, of the Specialist Crime Command, said: “This was a shocking and unprovoked attack on a man who had little chance of defending himself.

“Tully stabbed the victim more than 30 times in front of a number of members of the public who attempted to stop the attack. I would like to praise them for their bravery.

“While today’s conviction does not bring Michael back, I hope it does give his friends and family some closure as they continue to come to terms with his tragic death.”

Source: Met Police