Monday, 29 December 2008

The Murder of John Monckton

On 29 November 2004, father-of-two, John Monckton, died in hospital after being stabbed repeatedly in his own home in Chelsea.

John was stabbed eight times as he tried to fight off two black burglars, Damien Hanson and Elliot White.

John's wife Homeyra, was stabbed twice in the back. She had been paralysed after the attack but recovered after emergency surgery. She still uses a walking stick. Her nine-year-old daughter, Isobel, who witnessed the stabbings, called the emergency services and, probably, saved her mother's life.

Richard Horwell, prosecuting, said:

"When the robbers left she came downstairs. The sight which confronted that girl is almost impossible to imagine but she is a very brave girl and at her mother's request she rang 999 and closed the front door and put on the chain."
The court was told that John had opened the door after seeing White in a postman's uniform, holding a package. Horwell added:

"Every householder's nightmare became a reality for the Monckton family. What followed was an appalling episode of violence."
As John released the door chain, the two men pushed the door open.

Det. Supt. Mark Jackson, who leads the inquiry, said:

"This was an appalling attack on a family man in his own home. The suspects gained entry by posing as postmen and ferociously attacked Mr Monckton and his wife."
Ellie Shepherd, 21, who said that she had lost £8,000 worth of goods in a burglary, said:

"Some of my friends have been mugged and I now walk along just assuming that everybody is a mugger."
Alan Ross, a dentist, said:

"People are a lot more frightened now than they were."
In January 2003 Robin McCarthy, the sacristan of John’s local church, Our Most Holy Redeemer of St. Thomas More, had been attacked inside it and suffered brain damage as a result. He is now disabled and in care.

The parish priest, Canon Michael Brockie, admitted that there had been an upsurge in violence in the area and added:

"Chelsea has become very dangerous. Many people are hiring nightwatchmen. The police have put more community support officers on the streets, but they can’t be everywhere at once."
At the family Mass at which John used to help out as part of his work as a minister of the Eucharist, Canon Brockie added:

"When something so unspeakable occurs we, of course, have a whole range of emotions… when we are confronted with and come so close to sheer evil, because that is what it is."
The broadcaster, Robert Robinson, a neighbour of the Moncktons, had a knife held to his throat when three men forced their way into his home and stole money and jewellery in 1999. Sir Frank Williams, the motor racing boss, and his wife had £100,000 worth of jewellery stolen when they were mugged in South Kensington in the same year.

The chef Anton Mosimann and his wife were robbed at knifepoint in the same area and the daughter of the late Sir Laurens van der Post, the explorer and writer, who was a good friend of the Prince of Wales, was robbed and had her face slashed in a daytime attack. Ms. van der Post said that she had been burgled 'four or five times' in the previous few years.

On 17 December 2004, Elliott White was charged with John Monckton’s murder.

In June 2005, Damien Hanson, who had been released from prison just a short time before he and White broke into the Monckton's home, was charged with the attempted murder of Homeyra Monckton.

There was liitle 'honour among thieves' demonstrated after these two boyhood friends were arrested. White, who pleaded guilty to robbery but denied murder, began telling tales on his pal almost immediately.

"It was clear to me that he had lost his mind because there was no need to use a weapon. Everything was under control", White said, adding:

"When we were younger, my mum used to call him 666, D amien, the devil's child… His aura pushes people away. He has got a sort of evil cunningness about him."
Hanson's history as a career criminal was read out in court. Beginning in July 1995, his CV included burglary, knifepoint muggings, wounding, armed robbery and attempted murder. In August 1997, he shot a man three times who tried to run off after handing over his Rolex watch.

He was jailed for 12 years for this offence and was assessed, whilst in prison, as 91 percent likely to commit further violent crimes once released, However, despite this official verdict, he was released early in August 2004. Whereupon, the probation service managed him as a LOW RISK CASE.

He stabbed John to death just three months after they let him out.

In December 2005, an Old Bailey jury found Hanson guilty of murder.

His accomplice, Elliot White, who had a series of drug convictions, was on bail at the time of the robbery, awaiting a court appearance on heroin and cocaine charges.

John Monckton is pictured below:

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