Man jailed for 19 years after brutally stabbing ex-girlfriend and partner to death at Ilford sheltered housing complex

Paul Mallin, 51, left, stabbed to death his ex girlfriend, Karen Reid, 53, centre, and her new partn

Paul Mallin, 51, left, stabbed to death his ex girlfriend, Karen Reid, 53, centre, and her new partner John Down, 86, right, in an Ilford sheltered housing unit in September. - Credit: Met Police

A “bitter” 51-year-old has been jailed for 19 years, for stabbing to death his former lover and her new fiancé, 86, with a 10 inch carving knife, in “brutal circumstances”.

Paul Mallin appeared at the Old Bailey for sentencing today after admitting the manslaughter of Karen Read, 53, and John Down, at the Fernways sheltered housing unit, Cecil Road, Ilford, where they all lived on September 5.

Sentencing Mallin, The Common Serjeant of London Judge Richard Marks QC described the killing as “horrific and abhorrent”.

He told the defendant, who kept his head bowed throughout: “Two innocent people, one in the later years of his life, met their death suddenly and in the most brutal circumstances.”

The court heard that Mallin had become angry his fiancée Miss Read had chosen his neighbour over him in February 2015.

Mr Down and Miss Read had subsequently got engaged.

In the months before their deaths Mallin had stabbed Mr Down’s wall with a knife and spat at him in the care home’s office.

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The court also heard he had searched for “poison” more than 300 times on his phone, including “poison that doesn’t show up in an autopsy” and “Ricin Breaking Bad” in reference to the TV show.

On September 5, at around 10pm, Mallin tried to force his way into Mr Down’s flat with “an eight to 10 inch carving knife” and a “meat cleaver” he kept in a Sainsbury’s bag.

Mr Down was trying to push the door so the defendant could not enter, but Mallin slashed around the door with the carving knife and got in.

He stabbed the great-grandfather “multiple times” and he was found lying in a pool of blood.

The court heard disabled Miss Read must have been able to see this brutal death from her armchair – unable to move – before Mallin turned the knife on her.

The victims’ family members covered their ears as the horrific details were recounted to the court.

Judge Marks said: “They were completely defenceless and highly vulnerable.

“They suffered terrible injuries and met their deaths in the worst possible circumstances.”

He commended the victims’ family members, who filled the public gallery and the well of the court.

As Mallin was led out, one shouted: “Remember this face Mallin. When you come out I’ll be waiting for you.”

The defendant was due on trial in January for two counts of murder, however the prosecution dropped those charges following psychological and psychiatric reports.

He had previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter on January 4.