Judge on camera sentences granddad killer Ben Oliver

A mentally ill killer who knifed his disabled grandfather to death was jailed for life at the Old Bailey after the first ever televised sentencing.

Ben Oliver, 25, knifed and slashed 74-year-old David Oliver in a brutal attack at the pensioner’s home in Mottingham, south London, on 19 January last year.

David was immobile and bedbound, after suffering a stroke in 2016.

Oliver was obsessed with his grandmother and believed her husband had been abusive to her in the past.

He had his own room at his grandparents’ house, but he grew enraged after discovering historic allegations of sexual abuse had been made against Mr Oliver.

On the morning of the incident the 25-year-old suddenly picked up a kitchen knife, walked into his granddad’s bedroom and knifed him several times in the head.

The killer, who suffers from partial hearing and learning disabilities, immediately confessed what he had done to his grandmother.

Oliver told her: ‘He can’t hurt you any more.’

The killer had served a six year sentence for the rape of a young girl and was released on licence in September 2019, living in a flat several miles away from his grandparents.

He admitted manslaughter due to diminished responsibility and was cleared of murder by a jury in May.

The trial judge Sarah Munro QC granted permission for the televising of her sentencing remarks.

The clerk told the court there would be a 10 second delay before the feed was broadcast.

She said Oliver was ‘absolutely tormented.’

‘You selected a knife from the kitchen and you went to your grandfathers’s room,’ the judge said.

‘You stabbed his mouth so he couldn’t cry out and stabbed his eyes so he couldn’t look at you. There were 21 stab wounds to his face and seven to his torso.

‘You then cut his throat repeatedly with severe force.

‘He died very quickly from blood loss.’

The judge said Oliver was ‘very damaged man’ who would require pyschiatric help for many years.

‘In my judgement you do present a risk to the public,’ the judge added.

The judge passed a life sentence with a minimum term of ten years and eight months, with the term deducted by the 553 days he has served on remand.

Prosecutor Louis Mably earlier told the court: ‘He was attacked and killed as he lay helpless in his bed.

‘He had been repeatedly stabbed and slashed with a knife in the face, and in particular in the area of his neck, which had effectively been cut open.

‘This was a brutal attack, plainly carried out with the intention of killing him.

‘In the months before January 2021, and the days leading up to the killing, [Oliver] became aware of other allegations of…abuse,’ Mr Mably said.

‘Allegations that his grandfather was responsible for.

‘There were also allegations that David had treated his wife, Susan, badly by having a number of affairs.’

The younger man had been a victim of bullying at school because he wore a hearing aid and was ‘troubled and angry.’

He had been diagnosed with autism, was on anti-depressants, had thoughts of suicide and instances of self-harming.

His barrister Jenny Dempster said: ‘He is a young man who has experienced significant and substantial trauma in his own early life.’

The barrister said Oliver had been subjected to ‘quite appalling abuse’ as a child.

Oliver, of West Park, Greenwich, southeast London, had admitted manslaughter due to diminished responsibility but denied murder.