Jahreau Shepherd: Half-brother Dwight Freeman detained indefinitely for stabbing MMA champion to death at birthday party | UK News

The brother of a mixed martial arts champion has been locked up indefinitely for stabbing him to death on his 30th birthday.

Jahreau Shepherd, nicknamed The Nightmare, was killed by his 19-year-old half-brother Dwight Freeman as he celebrated with friends in Kennington, south London on July 11, 2020.

Freeman fled to Newquay in Cornwall, where he was arrested five days later.

He pleaded guilty last month to Mr Shepherd’s manslaughter on reduced responsibility and to intentionally injuring 26-year-old Joel Belgrave.

A judge today handed him a hospital order with no time limit.

Friends and family filled the court when prosecutor Caroline Carberry QC said Shepherd was a “skilled” MMA fighter who lived with his mother and Freeman – also known as a DJ.

She said Mr Shepherd behaved like a father figure to his younger siblings and wanted him to “fix and get better” and “stop smoking skunk cannabis”.

The court heard that the MMA fighter had been “physically impressive” at times, and there were problems between the pair.

In the six months before the murder, the accused suffered from mood swings and had “scared” his mother when she woke up and found him staring at the foot of her bed.

She arranged for him to see his doctor, but he failed to attend.

On July 11, Shepherd held a birthday party and barbecue in a park hosted by about 60 people who were told the dress code should be white.

Around 10 p.m., many friends saw that Freeman, wearing black and with the hood on, carried out a “fearsome, persistent, and unprovoked attack with a large knife or knives,” Ms. Carberry said.

Witnesses described a variety of weapons, including a machete, a large “zombie” knife and a samurai sword.

Sir. Shepherd was heard saying, “I love you. What are you doing?”

He also held up his hands as he appealed to his brother and said, “Sorry, sorry. Do not do this,” the court was told.

Shepherd sustained 13 wounds – including in the back, shoulder, thigh, face and abdomen, with the two fatal injuries about 19 cm deep.

Defendant first stopped when a bottle was thrown at him, causing him to drop one of the weapons.

Belgrave, a friend of the welterweight fighter, tried to intervene and was also stabbed with a punctured lung.

Freeman fled the scene, discarding a knife under a car and fleeing to the west.

Before being arrested in Cornwall, he disguised himself by dying and shaving his hair and reserved a room under a false name.

The court heard that Freeman had now been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

Dr. Emmanuel Okoro testified that the teenager’s mental illness had “played a significant role in the offenses”.

Judge Richard Mark’s QC told defendants: “At the party, for obscure reasons, you had armed yourself with two-bladed articles, one of which was either a machete or a large zombie knife.

“You attacked your brother with one or more of the weapons.

“You did it in a violent way and caused him no less than 13 stab wounds.

“Such was the degree of violence you used on your brother, one can only conclude that your intention was to kill him.

“The severity of the injury was such that they were unable to survive and he was pronounced dead at the scene.”

The judge noted that Freeman had been a regular skunk cannabis user, which may have contributed to his illness.

He said: “It’s obviously a very tragic case, more because your mother in the six months before the events had made a number of appointments for you to go to your doctor, but you had failed to attend and thought there was no something’s wrong with you. “

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