"Satan whispers into people's ears and he used manipulation"
KPMG auditor Khalid Ashraf, aged 32, of East London, received a Hospital Order under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act after he killed his sister.
The Old Bailey heard that he choked 35-year-old Sarah Ashraf to death at his Docklands apartment on January 5, 2019.
While working as a KPMG auditor in 2011, Ashraf became depressed following an HIV diagnosis.
Ms Ashraf cared for her brother and became worried about his mental health after he told her the chicken dinner was possessed.
She went to stay with him, fearing he would harm himself.
However, he attacked her and throttled her as she tried to fend him off with a kitchen knife.
Police were called by a neighbour who had seen blood on the front door of Ashraf’s flat. But when they arrived, the blood had been removed.
Officers discovered Sarah’s body in a bedroom and when they spoke to Ashraf, he admitted that he choked her. He was arrested.
A post-mortem confirmed the cause of death as compression of the neck. Blood samples found in the flat were forensically examined and confirmed as Ms Ashraf’s.
It was discovered that Ashraf called a friend prior to the killing, warning that his sister had to die but said:
“You know that I love her so much.”
During questioning, Ashraf told police:
“Satan whispers into people’s ears and he used manipulation and lies to commit acts. Satan told me to kill her.”
After being charged with his sister’s murder, Ashraf underwent a mental health assessment which revealed he was suffering from paranoid psychosis.
Medical professionals concluded that Ashraf was mentally ill at the time.
On September 2, 2019, Ashraf pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility.
The Common Sergeant of London Judge Richard Marks QC told Ashraf:
“This is obviously an extremely tragic case.
“Having regard to psychiatric evidence the prosecution properly accepted your plea of not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.
“The basis for the acceptance of that plea was that all psychiatrists involved believe you were suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.”
Of Sarah, he said: “She tended you like a mother would she had gone to your flat that afternoon it appears to help you with your intended move.
“It appears she expressed concerns to others earlier about your mental health.”
“You had said the chicken on your plate had been talking to you. She did not, however, apprehend that you posed any risk to her but in the event, once these discoveries were made in the flat you were taken to a police station and interviewed.
“You said you remembered the incident and had killed your sister. You said: ‘Satan whispers’.
“Three psychiatrists looked at the case and all are of the opinion that the appropriate way for you to be dealt with is a hospital order.
“Your culpability for the killing is very low and in the absence of mental illness you present no risk to others.”
Ashraf’s lawyer, Dean George explained that his client loved his sister.
On November 13, 2019, Khalid Ashraf was detained in a mental health institution and will remain there until he is deemed fit and no longer a risk to the public.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Considine, of Specialist Crime, said:
“The Ashraf family have been devastated by this tragic event. Sarah recognised that her brother’s mental health was deteriorating and went to his flat to care for him.
“We will never know what the catalyst was that led to Khalid killing his sister but he and his family will have to live with the loss of their loved one for the remainder of their lives.
“I would urge anyone that is concerned about the mental health of a friend or family member to seek help on their behalf.”