Notting Hill killing: Man sentenced to hospital order for stabbing elderly neighbour to death

Bella Nicandro, 76, was found fatally injured at her flat in St Luke’s Road after police received reports of a disturbance.

A man who stabbed his elderly neighbour to death has been sentenced to a hospital order under the Mental Health Act.

Aaron Cook, 24, previously pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 76-year-old Bella Nicandro, in Notting Hill, west London in August 2021, by reason of diminished responsibility.

Ms Nicandro was found fatally injured at her flat in St Luke’s Road after police received reports of a disturbance.

During the early afternoon of Saturday August 14 2021, Cook was seen in the street behaving strangely with his arms covered in blood.

76-year-old Bella Nicandro was stabbed to death at her home in Notting Hill. Credit: Met Police

He was immediately detained by multiple members of the public and was handcuffed by an off duty prison officer to await police arrival.

Officers arrested Cook on suspicion of murder and he was taken to St Mary’s Hospital for treatment to facial injuries sustained when he was detained on the street, and also for a mental health assessment.

Throughout the various stages of his restraint Cook repeatedly claimed to be ‘God’ and to be able to commit violent crimes with impunity.

A post-mortem examination conducted on August 17 2021 found Bella’s cause of death were stab wounds to the neck.

She had suffered 14 knife wounds, some of which were to her hand where she had tried to shield herself from the blows.

Aaron Cook, 24, has been given a hospital order for stabbing his elderly neighbour to death. Credit: Met Police

Det Insp Adam Guttridge who led the investigation said: “This was a tragic incident.

“Cook is schizophrenic and is prone to drug induced psychosis which requires medication that we believe he had stopped taking. He was also using drugs which exacerbated his condition.

"We would like to thank the members of the public who bravely detained Cook at the scene of this incident.

"The family of Bella Nicandro have been dignified throughout what has been a lengthy process to reach this point. They hope now to be able to grieve privately."