Man convicted of stabbing fiancée to death at home hours after their engagement party

Man convicted of stabbing fiancée to death at home hours after their engagement party

A MAN who stabbed his fiancée to death just hours after they celebrated their engagement has been convicted of murder.

Ivan Griffin was found guilty of murdering Sabrina Mullings at the Old Bailey yesterday (September 25).

The 24-year-old stabbed his wife-to-be at their Croydon home in the early hours of Monday, March 13.

Ms Mullings, 38, and Griffin, who were neighbours, living in Ravensdale Gardens in the south east London borough, had met just four months prior to her death.

The court heard how Ms Mullings’ daughter Hayleigh, 22, and her boyfriend Chaise, who lived with the couple, were in the flat when she was killed.

They had all been celebrating Griffin's and Ms Mullings' engagement on the evening of March 12, when the young pair left the couple in good spirits in the downstairs living room, where they slept, and went to bed.

But they were woken at 5.30am when they heard shouting and banging and crashing sounds coming from the living room.

Hayleigh told the court that she heard her mother shouting for help, saying: "Hayleigh, if you love me you will call an ambulance, he's stabbed himself and you need to save him."

She added that she and and her boyfriend had desperately tried to reach her, but Griffin had barricaded the door shut and refused to open it.

They also heard Griffin making comments about "devil worship" and "having to cleanse her [Sabrina's] soul”.

The young couple only got to Ms Mullings when Griffin, who also stabbed himself in the chest, later left the house.

At that point they found her lying naked on the kitchen floor, bleeding from several injuries, where, despite their attempts to resuscitate her, she died shortly after.

Chaise claimed the tragic mother said her daughter’s name with her final breath.

In a victim impact statement read out to the court, Sabrina’s mother Marian Mullings described the trauma her death has caused the family.

"Sabrina has always been a very creative person, with a great imagination, and she was very artistic. Wherever she lived she took pride in her home," she said.

"She was a warm and loving person and very much wore her heart on her sleeve. The loss and trauma of her death have been immense.

She added: "Hayleigh has had trouble sleeping at all ever since. She says she keeps seeing everything that took place, her mum lying naked on the floor and bleeding, and she can't get rid of the images.

"She feels lost and numb and like half of her heart has been ripped out.”

Following Griffin’s conviction, Detective Chief Inspector Will Reynolds, of the Met's Homicide and Major Crime Command, who led the investigation, said: "Griffin callously and viciously attacked a vulnerable, trusting woman that he purported to love and had asked to marry him.

"He subjected her daughter, Hayleigh, and her boyfriend to the terrible ordeal of hearing the attack on Sabrina but being prevented from helping her, and then callously fled the scene. Her death has left the family utterly devastated.”

He added: "I am pleased that the jury did not accept the argument put forward of diminished responsibility and have rightly found Griffin fully accountable for his appalling actions of that terrible night on which Sabrina lost her life."

Griffin is due to be sentenced at a later date.