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Urgent hunt for killer who fled mental health facility

Philip Theophilou, 54, left the facility in Homerton on Sunday and has not returned (Met Police)
Philip Theophilou, 54, left the facility in Homerton on Sunday and has not returned (Met Police)

Police have launched an urgent manhunt for a killer who fled a mental health facility in east London.

Philip Theophilou, 54, left the facility in Homerton on Sunday and has not returned.

Members of the public have been warned not to approach Theophilou, who was being detained at the facility after stabbing his neighbour to death in 2004.

He travelled to the Green Park area in central London at about 11.25am, the Metropolitan Police said, and was wearing a grey jumper, blue jeans, black jacket and black jumper.

Officers and medical professionals are concerned about his lack of access to medication and the risk he may pose without it.

Anyone who has information about Theophilou’s whereabouts has been asked to contact 999 immediately, quoting reference no CAD 3598/31Mar.

At his trial in 2005, Theophilou admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Philip Theophilou was detained in 2004 (Met Police)
Philip Theophilou was detained in 2004 (Met Police)

Jurors heard how he stabbed Simon Breed six times with a kitchen knife outside his house on Cornwall Avenue, Alexandra Park, north London.

A year before the killing, Theophilou caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to Mr Breed’s house and car with a meat cleaver after the pair fell out.

The stabbing happened shortly after Mr Breed moved into the property in 2002 and started work which caused a crack in the house next door to where Theophilou was living with his parents.

After the initial incident, Theophilou was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and released from St Ann’s Hospital in August 2003.

Just eight months later Mr Breed was attacked at night as he returned from playing at a folk club, the court heard.

Following his conviction, Theophilou was sent to Broadmoor hospital under the Mental Health Act.

Medics at the hospital said he had schizophrenia and at the time of the killing had not been taking his medication.

In an update on 4 April, the Met Police said Theophilou had been located at a south London hospital in the early hours, detained and returned to the facility from where he absconded.