Why was my daddy killed? Heartbreaking words of daughter of Ilkeston dad who was stabbed to death

Paul Averill
Paul Averill
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The ten-year-old daughter of Paul Averill who was stabbed to death by Santino Genovese asked ‘why my daddy?’

Mr Averill, 30, was killed by 24-year-old Genovese at the house he lodged at with the university graduate and his mum Samantha Halse on Charlotte Street in the early hours of September 11 last year.

On Friday Genovese pleaded guilty at Nottingham Crown Court to the manslaughter of Mr Averill through diminished responsibility. He also pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of Jason Goodacre, a friend he had known since school but stabbed nine times and left for dead.

Genovese, who had been smoking cannabis on the night of the attack, had double locked all of the doors and hid the keys - which he claims to have no recollection of.

Prosecuting, Micheal Evans, said Mr Goodacre and Genovese had exchanged texts messages on the night in question and Mr Goodacre had 
cycled around to the house where they watched a violent film called Lucy. Genovese’s mum later joined them. Mr Averill came home at around 10pm and chatted to them about the road trip to Europe he was due to go on the next day.

Later that night Mr Goodacre, who was asleep on the sofa, woke up to find Genovese plunging a knife into him. He told police: “All I remember is someone stabbing me. I was stabbed three or four times really quickly and it was not until I had one in my back that I stood up and said ‘What are you doing Tino?’ Then he stabbed me in the arm and it came out the other end.”

Genovese then went upstairs and stabbed Mr Averill to death as he slept in bed.

Hearing cries for help Samantha Halse went into the room where she found Mr Averill slumped by the bed. She called 999 and paramedics arrived in four minutes but could not get in.

Police dealing with a armed robbery at One Stop on the same street forced entry. The court heard that had this not been the case it would have been too late for Mr Goodacre who was rushed to the Queen’s Medical Centre and operated on.

Mr Goodacre, who believed he was going to die, had stemmed the bleeding with his bare hands.

Mr Averill died at the scene from a stab wound to the chest. He had been due to go on a 18 month road trip across Europe on the day he was killed.

When police arrested Genovese for murder at the house he was found under a duvet. He said to them ‘murder, why?’

The knife - from a set found in his bedroom - was recovered on September 12.

Mr Evans said: “He says he remembers going to drink milk and the next thing he knew he was in the bathroom with a knife in his hand. He says it was like he was possessed.

“He accepts he is responsible by process of illumination. He was covered in blood”

Mr Averill’s dad and sister read out statements at the hearing. Ian Averill said: “The drive from Nottingham when we got the call was a hellish hour and we prayed there had been a mistake. It is the words every parent dreads to hear.”

He said when they had last spoke to Paul, who was a keen biker, they could hear the excitement in his voice about his trip. His last words to them were ‘I love you mum’.

His sister Claire, who used to live with her brother, said she was living in a suspended reality. She said: “His daughter asks why was it my daddy? my daddy was a nice man.’

“I tell her that daddy did nothing wrong. Any person who met him could only say good things about him. There is no getting over his death.”

She then turned towards Genovese, who was sobbing in the dock, and said: “It’s better to die with a thousand people loving you than to live with a thousand people hating you.”

Three doctors reports said Genovese was suffering from a psychotic mental illness at the time of the attack, though he had not been diagnosed. Two doctors were called to give evidence by Shaun Smith, defending. They said Genovese suffered from a psychotic mental illness that required him to be in hospital.

Genovese will be sentenced on Wednesday November 4 by judge Micheal Stokes.