Father seeks release for schizophrenic who slashed victim’s throat

THE FATHER of a Scottish former public schoolboy convicted of murdering a stranger plans to appeal for him to be released.

Jamie Petrolini and Richard Elsey were sentenced to life in prison in 1994 for the killing of Mohamed el Sayed in London.

Elsey has recently been released, but former Gordonstoun pupil Petrolini, who was diagnosed as schizophrenic after 12 years in jail, is still being held in a secure institution in Scotland.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

His father Arcangelo Petrolini, who is a respected businessman and community leader in Cromdale, Grantown on Spey, is looking into the possibility of an appeal – saying his son has suffered enough.

Mr Petrolini said: “In the near future, there will hopefully be some sort of justice. There is something brewing up, but I don’t want to say too much.

“My son was ill and nobody recognised that. So I hope justice will prevail because he has suffered enough and has paid what he has had to.”

Mr Petrolini, who chairs Cromdale Community Council, said he believed the original conviction was flawed because his son’s illness had not been recognised.

“His conviction should not be murder, hopefully it will be changed to manslaughter. We will never give up.

“They kept him for 12 years in prison, when all along he should have been in hospital.

“Psychiatrists were going to see him and said, ‘You are OK, there is nothing wrong with you’.

“We wrote so many times to psychiatrists, and MPs for years because we saw that our son was not well, and they kept him there. It was a bloody disgrace to justice, it is Elsey that should have been kept in.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Elsey and Petrolini were said to have been inspired by tales of SAS missions in Andy McNab’s book Bravo Two Zero when they selected a motorist at random and slashed his throat.

Petrolini said later that he was “desperately sorry” for the death of Mr el Sayed and blamed Elsey for involving him in a fantasy about an SAS initiation. He said: “I was an automaton. Richard Elsey was the murderer and I was just the knife.

“He saw I was weak and he went out of his way to use me.

“He is a really, really, really evil bloke... I didn’t know what was going on.”

The wife of the victim, Susan El Sayed, said she was disappointed Elsey had been released 18 years after the murder.

“It happened a long time ago but I still think about it all the time. I miss him a lot and my boys have been deprived of a father.”

Scottish Conservative justice spokesman David McLetchie MSP said Petrolini should not be released as long as he is a danger to the public.

He said: “I don’t think you can revisit the trial. If he was found guilty of murder all these years ago then he is guilty of murder and you can’t re-examine that.

“If someone receives a life sentence then they are only subject to release as far as he does not present a danger to the public, that’s a matter for the medical psychiatric assessment.

“If the medical expert says he could represent a danger to the public then clearly he shouldn’t be released.”

Related topics: