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Murder suspect

Fanta was on bail when he fatally stabbed Stephen Dempsey in London.

A MAN has been jailed for killing a Leigh man in a ‘ferocious’ knife attack in Oxford Street in 2021.

Eritrean-born Tedi Fanta was on bail when he armed himself with a knife and travelled to London from home in Swansea.

Shortly before 8pm on July 1 2021, he brandished the knife and jumped on retired civil servant Stephen Dempsey from behind, and stabbed him, the Old Bailey was told.

Two passing skateboarders intervened and hit Fanta with their boards, before restraining him until the police arrived. Other members of the public tended to the 60-year-old victim, who was on a day-trip to London.

Mr Dempsey suffered four stab wounds and sadly died in hospital later that night from a knife injury to the chest. The court heard how days before the killing, Fanta 27, who was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, was arrested in Swansea for ‘brandishing a saw.’

He was bailed by police for that offence to appear at Swansea Magistrates’ Court. He also had previous convictions for criminal damage and assaulting a police constable.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Dempsey’s sister Kathleen Dempsey said her brother was an ‘unassuming’ man who had lived in Leigh since he was a child. She added that Dempsey had a ‘brilliant mind’ and a ‘dry sense of humour.’

Mitigating, Patrick Upward KC said Fanta was conscripted into the Eritrean army aged 12 or 13, and had in the ensuing years, been shot and tortured, before seeking sanctuary in the UK and being granted refugee status in 2014. Fanta was deemed unfit to stand trial.

Jurors did not have to determine his guilt, but only state if they were sure he committed the acts he was accused of. They deliberated for less than an hour to conclude that he had had a knife and carried out the murder, for which he was handed an indefinite hospital order by Judge Michael Topolski KC.

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