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Mentally ill teenager who stabbed his half-brother to death detained in hospital

A mentally ill teenager who killed his half-brother at his 30th birthday party in Kennington has been detained in hospital after what has been described as a ‘truly tragic’ court case. 

Nineteen-year-old Dwight Junior Freeman, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey on Monday (August 9) to the manslaughter of his sibling and MMA star Jahreau Shepherd on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

He also pleaded guilty to wounding with intent in relation to a second male victim.

The court heard that Dwight attacked his brother with two large knives at Jahreau’s 30th birthday party in Kennington’s Venn Park in the evening of July 11, last year in front of sixty horrified guests. 

Jahreau tried to escape toward the park but tripped on some stairs leading to Vauxhall Street, whereupon his brother stabbed him ‘multiple times’. He was pronounced dead after police and paramedics arrived at the scene. 

A 26-year-old man who rushed to Jahreau’s aid was also stabbed in the chest but, miraculously, survived the attack. 

Specialist crime command officers arrested the teenager in Newquay on July 16, and charged him two days later with murder, attempted murder and possession of an offensive weapon.

The attempted murder was later reduced to wounding with intent. The possession of an offensive weapon charge is to lay on file.

Two consultant forensic psychiatrists gave evidence in court that Dwight was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time he killed his brother and his ability to understand his actions was substantially impaired.

Detective Sergeant Ben Dalloway, Specialist Crime North Homicide Team, said: “This is a truly tragic case in which a family have essentially lost two of their loved ones.

“Jahreau was celebrating his 30th birthday listening to music and enjoying a BBQ surrounded by his loved ones. 

“His life was cut short in an extremely violent manner which shocked and appalled those present.

“Jahreau was well loved in the local area and also amongst the mixed martial arts community. 

“He turned to the sport towards the end of his life and was a champion fighter.

“I would like to extend my sincere condolences to Jahreau’s family and friends whilst also thanking the numerous witnesses who came forward to assist the investigation. 

“In particular, I would like to thank those whose quick thinking actions saved the life of the second victim.”

An eighteen-year-old man was also arrested in connection with the investigation but was subsequently released and no further action was taken against him.


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