Man who bludgeoned his elderly neighbour to death jailed

Undated family handout photo issued by the Metropoitan Police of Anthony Rooks, 80, who was found co

Anthony Rooks, 80, was found collapsed and suffering a head injury at a property in Dalmeny Road, Tufnell Park. - Credit: PA Media/Metropolitan Police

A man from Tufnell Park who bludgeoned his older neighbour to death three days before the funeral of the victim’s wife has been sentenced to prison.

Sable Thomas, 43, of Dalmeny Road in Tufnell Park was sentenced to serve a minimum of eight years in jail before he can apply for parole at Wood Green Crown Court on Friday, April 8.

He pleaded guilty at the same court on November 26 2021 to the manslaughter of Anthony Rooks, 80, "by virtue of diminished responsibility".

The court heard that Anthony’s wife of 46 years sadly died on April 14 2020 after battling ill health for almost a year.

Her funeral was due to take place on May 7 2020, but Anthony did not get the chance to go because on May 4 2020 he was brutally killed by his neighbour and friend Sable.

Anthony suffered multiple blunt force traumas to his head and face. He was beaten so ferociously by Thomas that part of his ear was bludgeoned away.

In a victim impact statement, Anthony’s granddaughter said: “Little did we know that three days before our nan’s funeral, this horrific tragedy would rock our world and change our lives forever.

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"Our biggest question is why anyone would want to hurt such a loving funny giving and caring old man, especially to that extent?

“As a result of grandad’s death, we are living in a constant nightmare thinking about the house in which we shared so much happy memories. Grandad’s home was our safe place to go to. There is a feeling that our entire childhood memories and lives have been ruined."

Sable stated that he suffered from mental health issues and that he had been previously supplied medication but had stopped taking it as it did not agree with him.

Detective sergeant Brian Jones, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “This is an absolutely heart-breaking case where a much-loved grandad was killed in the most brutal way by his friend and neighbour who was suffering from a mental health issue."