A man has been found guilty of murdering a Jewish woman who worked as a welfare officer at the S&P Sephardi Community in London after an Old Bailey trial.
Ian Levy, 55, an unemployed jeweller with serious mental health problems, was found guilty of murdering his girlfriend Elize Stevens and was sentenced to 23 years and six months in prison, in a dramatic conclusion to his two-week trial on Tuesday.
He had pleaded not guilty to murdering Stevens at her Hendon home in March, claiming “diminished responsibility” owing to his mental state at the time.
Police who were called to her Great North Way flat found Levy naked and blood-stained next to Stevens’ body. The 50-year old mother-of-three had been stabbed 86 times.
She knew Levy had severe depression and a personality disorder and had tried to kill himself in 2016. She had been trying to support him at the time he killed her, shortly following his release from hospital.
A witness told the trial how he heard Stevens begging Levy to stop, while officers said after the killing Levy had at first complained to them that he had hurt his hands in the attack.
Levy’s lawyers did not deny that he killed Stevens but argued that it was manslaughter owing to his diminished responsibility. Prosecutors said it was “not simply reducible to the effects of a depressive disorder”.
Two psychiatrists disagreed over the extent to which Levy’s depression and personality disorder played a role, and therefore the extent to which the killing could be premeditated.
The court heard how Stevens had raised her three children in Israel before coming to the UK in 2011 to escape a violent relationship.
She reportedly met Levy at her father’s shiva in 2018. Her grown up children knew very few details about her relationship with Levy.
Last week jurors heard how he had told a psychiatrist that he killed her because she did not want her to leave him for “some rich guy”.