The Bermondsey bloodbath murders – Joshua Jaques jailed for 45 years

A man who killed three generations of a family has been jailed for a minimum of 46 years after Met detectives proved he was guilty of murder.

Joshua Jacques, 29 (19.04.94) of Minard Road, Lewisham, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility. He claimed it was a ‘sacrifice for the greater good’.

Despite his claims that he was not guilty of murder, Met detectives built a case proving that he was. He was convicted of four counts of murder by a jury at the Old Bailey. Today, he was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum of 46 years in prison.

Jacques’ partner 27-year-old Samantha Drummonds; her mother Tanysha Ofori-Akuffo, 45, and her grandmother Dolet Hill, 64, were violently killed by Jacques at their home in Bermondsey, as was Dolet’s partner Denton Burke, aged 58.

Detective Sergeant Damon Carr, a specially trained officer who supported the victims’ families, said: “It is abundantly clear that Samantha, Tanysha, Dolet and Denton were loved so much by so many, and their murders have caused crushing sadness.

“Of course, we cannot make their loved ones’ pain go away, but we hope this result will give them a tiny bit of solace as they continue to live with their loss.”


Detective Chief Inspector Linda Bradley said: “Jacques brutally murdered four completely innocent people, and destroyed the lives of those left behind.

“The families have shown immense strength and dignity throughout the lengthy trial, and I know they are still trying to to come to terms with Jacques’ cruel actions.

“I can say, hand on heart, this is one of the most shocking cases our team has worked on, and we worked tirelessly to prove that Jacques was guilty of murder rather than manslaughter. We are pleased and relieved that the jury accepted this argument.”

In the early hours of 25 April 2022, a neighbour called 999 after hearing a disturbance at Dolet and Denton’s home on Delaford Road. Samantha and her mother Tanysha were also staying at the property at the time.

Officers attended and after getting no response, forced entry into the house. The body of Denton Burke was found at the bottom of the stairs.

The bodies of Samantha, Tanysha and Dolet were all found in the kitchen. All of the victims had been stabbed multiple times.

Jacques was found upstairs in the bathroom, arrested and taken into custody. While under arrest, he made comments including that he ‘had to sacrifice for the greater good’. Although Jacques admitted killing the four victims, he said he had blacked out and that he was suffering from a mental health condition which led to the deaths.


Jacques was in police custody for 80 hours before being charged with murder. More than 100 hours of individual clips of officer’s body worn cameras were painstakingly reviewed to show Jacques’ language and behaviour after the offence.

Hours of CCTV seizure and viewing recreated the movements of Jacques in the afternoon and evening before the offence. They showed that his behaviour appeared quite normal.

At an early stage, Jacques admitted his involvement in the deaths but claimed the partial defence of manslaughter by diminished responsibility as he was suffering from a mental health condition that substantially impaired his ability to form a rational judgement and exercise self-control.

However, the prosecution expert reached the conclusion that Jacques had a history of cannabis misuse which caused him to enter a transient psychotic state.

Jacques knew the effects that cannabis had on his mental health and had been told to stop taking it, but he refused to do so and used cannabis shortly before the murder.

Forensic psychiatric evidence was produced in court and physical evidence further linked Jacques to the scene, including his fingerprints in blood, as well as the recovery of the kitchen knife used to carry out the killings.

When all of the evidence was heard by the jury, their verdict was that Jacques was guilty of murder.

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *