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Foul-mouthed thug who ‘played the system’ finally jailed for life over murder

A trial last year was halted after Joseph Tripp swallowed razors, soiled himself and refused to answer questions about the killing.

A foul-mouthed thug was finally jailed for life for murdering a grandfather after sabotaging his first trial by soiling himself.

Joseph Tripp stabbed electrician Derek McAllister in the back with an 8-inch knife after a row in a Coral bookmakers in East Finchley, north London, in December 2015.

A trial last year was halted after Tripp, 35, swallowed razors, soiled himself and refused to answer questions about the killing.

Following a retrial at the Old Bailey, he was found guilty of murdering the 55-year-old widower and jailed for life with a minimum term of 21 years.

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Joseph Tripp court case

Judge Philip Katz QC sentenced Tripp in his absence due to his continued outbursts of swearing in court.

The defendant had earlier absented himself when Mr McAllister’s daughter tearfully accused him of “manipulating the system” and prolonging her agony.

Collette McAllister told the court: “On top of the trauma of losing my dad in such a shocking and violent way, it is also my opinion that Joseph Tripp has manipulated the system causing me a further two-and-a-half years of suffering, while playing the waiting game at his hands.

“It took approximately 18 months for the first trial to start. This trial lasted 19 days during which Joseph Tripp shouted out continuously including hurling abuse at me directly in the courtroom and making derogatory remarks about my dad.

“When the first trial collapsed, I felt let down, confused and once again left in limbo with no closure.”

“I was only 23 when my mum passed away and only 25 when my dad was murdered. I have shed more tears over the last two-and-a-half years than anyone should cry in a lifetime.”

Having now lived with this ordeal for almost two-and-a-half years now and sat through two trials I am left shocked by Joseph Tripp's total lack of remorse and respect for the law, the court, the judge and I Collette McAllister

The mother-of-two added: “Having now lived with this ordeal for almost two-and-a-half years now and sat through two trials I am left shocked by Joseph Tripp’s total lack of remorse and respect for the law, the court, the judge and I.

“I am heartbroken by the savage, cruel, intentional and planned assault and stabbing that took my dad’s life. This was a senseless act over no more than an argument that has devastated the whole family.”

Judge Katz said he suspected there was “some truth” in the accusation that Tripp was “playing the system”.

He described Mr McAllister as a “good and productive man” who had struggled to cope after his wife died of an aneurysm in 2014.

He told Tripp: “This was a vulnerable man that you killed. From the moment you stabbed him you took every opportunity to speak ill of him, tell lies about him and demean him.”

But the judge accepted Tripp had a personality disorder that made him appear angry and manipulative, which he could neither help nor be cured of.

From the moment you stabbed him you took every opportunity to speak ill of him, tell lies about him and demean him Judge Philip Katz QC

He also praised two Good Samaritans for their “compassion and bravery” in intervening, including one member of the public who followed Tripp from the scene, even though he was still holding a knife.

The trial had heard Tripp knew Mr McAllister and, only days earlier, had bought him a can of beer to celebrate his 55th birthday.

But on the day of the killing, a row had erupted in a Coral betting shop in which Tripp picked up a chair and shouted at Mr McAllister and his girlfriend.

As the couple walked away, Tripp went to a nearby shop and bought an 8in (20cm) carving knife for £4.99.

He then hid behind parked cars and pounced on the couple as they walked past.

The victim was stabbed with such force that the knife cut a bone in his spine, the court heard.

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Joseph Tripp court case

Upon his arrest at his Finchley home, Tripp told police he was the one who had been attacked at the bookies and claimed: “I’m the f****** victim.”

However, CCTV footage of the stabbing, witnesses and the victim’s blood on Tripp’s jeans pointed to him being the attacker, even though the knife was never recovered.

The defendant was assessed by multiple psychiatrists and psychologists and found to have an antisocial and mentally unstable personality disorder.

In June last year, Tripp was found guilty by a jury of committing the act but he was not fit to continue with his trial.

A fresh jury convicted him of murder following a retrial, in which Tripp claimed he acted in self-defence and did not mean really serious harm to the victim.

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