Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

Leyton man tortured and killed stranger in 16-minute attack

The court heard Berhany was tortured as a child and may have been "re-enacting" his own abuse

Hero for Leyton man tortured and killed stranger in 16-minute attack
Abel Berhany, 23, from Leyton (credit: Met Police)
By Waltham Forest Echo 20 June 2022

A Leyton man was jailed for manslaughter after torturing and killing a stranger in just 16 minutes, with the judge suggesting he may have been “re-enacting” his own past torture.A Leyton man was jailed for manslaughter after torturing and killing a stranger in just 16 minutes, with the judge suggesting he may have been “re-enacting” his own past torture.

Abel Mery Berhany, 23, of Allanson Court in the Leyton Grange Estate, killed 56-year-old Abraham Haile on 28th July, 2020, after the pair argued at City Slots in Camden.Abel Mery Berhany, 23, of Allanson Court in the Leyton Grange Estate, killed 56-year-old Abraham Haile on 28th July, 2020, after the pair argued at City Slots in Camden.

As reported by the Ham & High, the court heard Berhany “kicked, stamped or jumped” on Haile’s head and upper body 99 times and attacked him with fire extinguishers and bleach.As reported by the Ham & High, the court heard Berhany “kicked, stamped or jumped” on Haile’s head and upper body 99 times and attacked him with fire extinguishers and bleach.

After pausing the attack to have a cigarette, Berhany then rammed a plastic broom handle into his victim’s mouth and used a fire extinguisher as a hammer to force it down his throat.After pausing the attack to have a cigarette, Berhany then rammed a plastic broom handle into his victim’s mouth and used a fire extinguisher as a hammer to force it down his throat.

On 17th June, having pleaded guilty to manslaughter two days earlier, Bethany was sentenced to life in prison and must serve a minimum of 18 years before he can be considered for release.On 17th June, having pleaded guilty to manslaughter two days earlier, Bethany was sentenced to life in prison and must serve a minimum of 18 years before he can be considered for release.

Speaking after the verdict, Detective Inspector Okikiola Okunola said: “This was a highly violent incident, the harrowing details of which were recounted in court in the presence of the victim’s loved ones. Speaking after the verdict, Detective Inspector Okikiola Okunola said: “This was a highly violent incident, the harrowing details of which were recounted in court in the presence of the victim’s loved ones.

“The judge in this case praised Mr Haile’s family for their dignity throughout the proceedings and also praised officers for their contributions to the investigation. I wholeheartedly agree with his comments and my thoughts are with Mr Haile's family today.”“The judge in this case praised Mr Haile’s family for their dignity throughout the proceedings and also praised officers for their contributions to the investigation. I wholeheartedly agree with his comments and my thoughts are with Mr Haile's family today.”

Berhany was charged with manslaughter rather than murder due to diminished responsibility because of his mental health.Berhany was charged with manslaughter rather than murder due to diminished responsibility because of his mental health.

The court heard he suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, psychosis and undiagnosed paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the attack. The court heard he suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, psychosis and undiagnosed paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the attack.

Originally from Eritrea, he had been tortured in Libya as a child before being granted asylum in Britain.Originally from Eritrea, he had been tortured in Libya as a child before being granted asylum in Britain.