A REPTILE enthusiast who stabbed his former partner's father to death with a "snake knife" is facing jail.

Sean Richardson, aged 41, of Petts Wood Road, Petts Wood, launched a frenzied attack on Jack Perry at the victim's home in Denison Road, Ealing.

A court heard there was a history of bad blood between the pair over Richardson's 20-year relationship with Mr Perry's daughter.

Richardson, who kept reptiles, dogs and rats at his home, was charged with murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at the Old Bailey on December 20.

Psychiatrists diagnosed him as having a borderline personality disorder and a depressive illness.

Prosecutor Mark Heywood said the Crown accepted the plea after considering the opinion of their own medical expert.

Mr Heywood said: "Both doctors agree this defendant had a long-standing personality disorder which is classified as an abnormality of mind.

"Whether the defendant planned to kill the deceased or whether it was carried out on the spur of the moment, he was suffering from an abnormality of mind at the time of the killing."

Judge Giles Forrester adjourned sentencing until January 26.

He told Richardson: "Your plea of guilty to manslaughter has been accepted by the prosecution and in due course sentence will be passed.

"But before this happens, consideration needs to be given as to whether a hospital order may or may not be appropriate in your case."

Mr Perry, 64, was found dead on May 8 and Richardson was arrested at his home the following day.

Richardson was remanded into custody at HMP Belmarsh while doctors assess if he can be treated at a mental hospital.

  • News Shopper interviewed the father-of-two in 2003 in which he spoke fondly about his 19 snakes, two giant tortoises, three mastiff dogs, 40 rats, a gecko and a crocodile monitor.