Crime, News

Bagel tycoon’s son mentally unfit to stand trial for mother’s murder

Bagel tycoon’s son mentally unfit to stand trial for mother’s murder

 

Paranoid schizophrenic Joshua Cohen, 28, is alleged to have armed himself with four knives before attacking Louise Cohen, 64, and Hannah Cohen, 33 A bagel tycoon’s son accused of stabbing his mother and sister to death at their £2.5million home has been declared mentally unfit to stand trial for the murders. Paranoid schizophrenic Joshua Cohen, 28, is alleged to have armed himself with four knives before attacking Louise Cohen, 64, and Hannah Cohen, 33. He stabbed Hannah in the neck, severing an artery, then knifed Louise 13 times in the face and head and beat her with a heavy object, the Old Bailey heard. Their lifeless bodies were found in the laundry room basement of the family’s Golders Green home in north London in August last year by Joshua’s brother Nathan Cohen, 31. The Cohen family are owners of Beigel Bake, a 24-hour shop on Brick Lane in London’s East End, which was set up in 1974 and is famous for its salt beef bagels.  Cohen was charged on suspicion of the double murder, but at a trial of issue hearing today he was declared unfit to enter pleas due to his mental health problems. He appeared in the dock at the Central Criminal Court wearing a red prison-issue jumper and flanked by two mental health workers. Sarah Whitehouse QC, prosecuting, told jurors: ‘Joshua Cohen is not well enough to stand trial.  ‘He is mentally extremely ill and is unlikely to become well enough to stand trial in the near future. ‘He is too unwell to say whether he is guilty or not guilty or to put forward his side if the story. ‘In this particular case there are psychiatric reports from a number of psychiatrists, all of them are in fact in agreement as to their diagnosis of the defendant’s disability and his fitness to plea.’ Murder scene: The family’s £2.5million Golders Green home in north London, where the double killing took place in the basement Cohen, who is being held at Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire, was seen on CCTV going into the kitchen of the family home with his mother and sister last year. ‘At around 8.20pm Joshua Cohen left his annexe at the bottom of the garden and walked around to the front of the house,’ said Mrs Whitehouse. ‘He was followed by Hannah and a moment or two later Louise also went into the kitchen. Cohen’s sister Hannah, who was stabbed to death along with her mother. She was found with a knife wound to her neck which had cut through a main artery ‘They never appeared on CCTV footage again. In the next few minutes both of them were stabbed to death in the laundry room in the basement.’ Cohen emerged nine minutes later and went upstairs to change his clothes before fleeing and leaving the blood-covered knives behind, the Old Bailey heard. ‘He went up the stairs carrying his trousers, shoes and coat,’ said Mrs Whitehouse. ‘He had what appeared to be red marks, possibly blood, on his legs and head. Bloodied clothes were later found in a bathroom upstairs. ‘He came downstairs about 13 minutes later. He was now wearing a red Nike hooded jumper and grey bottoms. ‘He had something wrapped around his left hand, he then left the house.’ Officers found blood-covered clothes and brown boots in the bathroom along with a white towel with blood on it. Two blood-stained knives were found in the basement, another knife in the kitchen bin and the fourth in the garden annexe where Cohen lived, jurors were told. The court heard a meat tenderiser could have been used to cause some of the injuries to Louise Cohen. The pathologist, Dr Charlotte Randall, said a stab wound to the head of Louise was so fierce that the tip of the knife had snapped off. Louise also suffered fractures of the right frontal bone to the forehead, left eye socket, left cheek bone, left upper jaw, nose and left thumb. ‘These injuries would be consistent with the use of a heavy blunt object such as an iron,’ said Dr Randall. ‘Furthermore, some of the blunt injuries to the face bore a studded or edged pattern…. consistent with having been caused from a weighted object such as a meat tenderiser. ‘I remember I was informed that there was an iron or meat-tenderiser. ‘I remember from the circumstances those were objects – they were consistent with those. ‘The patterned injury on the face would fit a meat tenderiser.’ Cohen was found the next day at around 1pm by officers driving along Finchley Road in north London. The Cohen family business: Beigel Bake, a 24-hour shop on Brick Lane in London’s East End, which was set up in 1974 and is famous for its salt beef bagels Describing the victims’ injuries, Mrs Whitehouse said: ‘Louise Cohen had 13 stab wounds on her head, face, neck trunk and right arm. ‘She also had a number of wounds to her hands, fingers and arms which were typical of defensive injuries. ‘She also sustained a traumatic brain injury, most likely as a result of multiple blows to her head and face with a heavy blunt object. ‘Some of the injuries had severe underlying fractures and bore a studded or edged pattern. ‘These were, in the opinion of the pathologist, consistent with having been caused by a weighted object. ‘Hannah Cohen had a stab wound to the front of her neck which cut through one of the main arteries. She had no defensive type injuries from an attack.’ Forensic  Mrs Whitehouse described the moment Nathan Cohen found the bodies at about 9pm the night of the murders. ‘He glanced into the kitchen and saw bloodied footprints on the floor and blood leading to the basement. ‘He went through the door into the basement and saw the bodies of his mother and sister.’  Joshua Cohen is being held at Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire. The trial of issue continues.

 

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Emma Jones
Emma Jones is an entertainment journalist for UKCelebrityNews and other magazines. The author or coauthor of ten books, Emma has sold several million copies since 2006. She worked for eleven years as a writer and editor at the national news biweekly WORLD magazine.