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Man found guilty of murdering care worker over TV noise

Michael Meanza
Michael Meanza

A man is facing life behind bars for battering a care worker to death because she asked him to turn down the volume as he watched The Doors film.

Michael Meanza, 47, had been living in mental health accommodation in Acton, west London, for three months before he bludgeoned Jenny Foote, 38, over the head and face with a heavy fire extinguisher.

He had admitted manslaughter and denied murder because of his anger issues but an Old Bailey jury found him guilty of the more serious charge.

In the early hours of July 7 last year, Ms Foote had gone to the defendant's room to speak to him after receiving a complaint from a neighbour about the noise from his TV, the court heard.

Meanza had been watching the 1991 psychedelic biopic The Doors starring Hollywood star Val Kilmer as the late rock star Jim Morrison.

The defendant chatted with Ms Foote in the doorway of his room for about five minutes before she returned to her office, the court heard.

Prosecutor Brian O'Neill QC had told jurors: "There is nothing further of relevance for the next three hours until just before 6am when Meanza left his room, made his way downstairs and killed her."

When he was interviewed by police, Meanza claimed that the incident with Ms Foote was "the straw that broke the camel's back".

He told officers that care workers had interfered in his life with his girlfriend "trying to tell me how to have my relationship because of the section I am in".

Asked if he had any regrets, he smiled and said: "I have some regrets in my life but then again too few to list..."

In further interview, he explained: "I couldn't take any more. They said I can be with her and then after a while they pull us apart ... That would drive you bonkers. I snapped."

Meanza, who had been the subject of a hospital order since the 1990s, argued that he was suffering from a "severe anger pathology" - a personality disorder which affected his ability to exercise self-control.

But Mr O'Neill said: "In our submission it cannot be right either as a matter of law or on the grounds of public policy that Michael Meanza - or any defendant - should be able to escape full responsibility for an unlawful killing on the basis he is too angry an individual to be guilty of murder."

Collette House in Perryn Road, Acton, is owned by mental health charity Cyrenians London and provides accommodation for a number of residents with varying mental health issues.