Attack on woman in Greenwich hotel was murder, court told

A “violent, self-obsessed” steroid user murdered his girlfriend by stabbing her in the neck, a court has heard.

During the 999 call he made after the attack, Taye Francis sent a picture to his lawyer showing Khloemae Loy lying dead on a bed, along with the message “I’ve killed my girlfriend”, a jury at the Old Bailey was told.

The 23-year-old was pronounced dead in a hotel room in Greenwich, south-east London, on July 5.

Prosecutor Kate Lumsdon QC said there “is no issue that he killed her” but told jurors they must consider whether he was suffering from any mental condition at the time.

She said: “The Crown’s position is that Mr Francis was a violent, self-obsessed man who took steroids. Apart from building muscle mass, steroids have various side-effects. These include aggression and paranoia.

“Our case is that he killed her in anger. It was murder.”

Francis, 40, of no fixed address, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter. His defence is that he suffers from a recognised medical condition which diminishes his responsibility for the killing.

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On the day of Ms Loy’s death, Francis sent a series of texts to people, including his lawyers, headed “Conspiracy to Murder”, saying he had told the police that someone was trying to arrange his murder and attempts had already been made on his life.

Online searches were made in the middle of the night using terms such as “Taye Francis rapist” and “Who is Taye Francis”, and he filmed Ms Loy while she was asleep.

The 999 call operator tried to encourage Francis to give first aid to Ms Loy.

Police and paramedics tried to get into the fifth-floor hotel room but it was blocked by a sofa bed and officers had to force their way in.

Ms Lumsdon said Ms Loy was found “lying on the bed on her back, her eyes were slightly open and staring at the ceiling”.

The bedclothes were soaked in blood and she had “a deep cut to her neck”.

Francis, who had thrown a small rucksack and a suitcase out of the window, was seen hanging from a ledge outside.

Francis, who had bleeding cuts to his body, was eventually dealt with by the emergency services, put into an induced coma and taken to hospital. Tests on his blood showed he had recently taken anabolic steroids.

The blade which killed Ms Loy was discovered on the floor under the headboard of the bed by a specialist search team, and vials of anabolic steroids were found in the rucksack.

The court heard that photographs of steroids, along with information about buying and using them, were found on Francis’s phone.

Francis was convicted of an assault on Ms Loy after dumping her in a large wheelie bin in February 2017, the court heard.

The couple broke up but were living together again by December 2019.

Ms Loy later told her parents he had a paranoid personality.

This may have been because he had been jailed and placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life for kidnapping and raping a previous girlfriend in 2002, the court heard.

Ms Lumsdon said: “It appears that he became obsessed with the idea that people knew that he was on the Sex Offenders’ Register and as a result wished to do him harm.”

There were fears for Ms Loy’s safety just days before she was killed when passers-by spotted her on a window ledge and she was taken to hospital, the court heard.

Despite pleas from her parents – Maxine and Dany Loy – to leave Francis, Ms Loy said she felt she had to stay or he would attack them.

Francis was wearing a “stab vest” and had been using the bed to barricade the front door when her parents brought Ms Loy back to one of the many flats they moved to.

A picture of Francis as “an aggressive, controlling man, and a troubled, frightened woman who is struggling with her mental health” can be seen in the run-up to the killing, according to the prosecution.

Francis called the police on July 3 to report that people were outside his flat making threats to him. The police attended and told him there was no-one about and no cause for concern.

The couple also went to a hospital in London seeking a mental health assessment in order to obtain new accommodation.

Police, who had been called by hospital staff, said they were satisfied that although Francis was showing signs of paranoia he did not present an immediate risk to himself or anyone else.

The court heard that on another day, Francis called the police and said he wanted to speak to them.

He was wearing a stab vest and said: “I’ve got issues man, they are trying to kill me.”

The court heard the officers felt that while Francis appeared paranoid he was also lucid and there was no immediate risk to himself or to others.

The hearing was adjourned to Monday.

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