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Jamie Petrolini murder conviction quashed

The Court of Appeal today (June 14th 2012) quashed Jamie Petrolini’s conviction for murder and substituted a verdict of manslaughter. The life sentence was replaced by a Hospital Order.

Jamie Petrolini was convicted along with Richard Elsey of the murder in 1994.

Both men were involved in the random killing of Mohamed el Sayed as he stopped at a junction in his car in Bayswater in London.

At the time of the trial the defence was Diminished Responsibility. It was argued that Jamie was suffering from prodromal schizophrenia, such that he was open to the influence of his co defendant in a way that he would otherwise not have been. This was rejected by the prosecution.

Jamie Petrolini and Richard Elsey were both found guilty of murder and given life sentences. Richard Elsey was released recently.

Fresh psychiatric evidence from Professor Eastman and Dr Joseph showed that Jamie Petrolini now suffers from schizophrenia and was in fact in the prodromal stage of this illness at the time of the killing.

The prosecution did not oppose the appeal against conviction.

The Court of Appeal accepted this fresh evidence that showed that the prodrome of schizophrenia meant that Jamie was not taking decisions for himself as would an ordinary person and this did amount to an abnormality of mind that substantially impaired his responsibility for the killing.

They acknowledged the work undertaken by Jamie’s legal team, the medical profession and his parents.

Correna Platt, a partner at Stephensons Solicitors LLP, represented Jamie at his appeal. She said: “Jamie served 11 years of his life sentence for murder before it was recognised that he was suffering from schizophrenia. In 2005 he was then transferred to a psychiatric unit for more appropriate medical attention.

“The Court of Appeal recognised that Mr Petrolini’s responsibility for the killing was significantly impaired by his mental illness.

“His parents have always maintained that he was suffering from schizophrenia at the time of the killing but this was unfortunately not recognised until many years later.”


Stephensons’ Criminal Litigation department is recommended by the Legal 500, which says the firm has ‘scored some notable victories in criminal appeal cases, and its prisons and public law team has also been successful in a number of groundbreaking high-profile cases’.

The firm has 30 partners and more than 350 staff in offices across Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Merseyside.

Media information:  Lianne Tracey
                                   Stephensons Solicitors LLP
                                   T: 01616 966 229
                                   E: lianne.tracey@stephensons.co.uk