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Convicted killer who escaped from mental health unit in Homerton detained in Croydon after four-day manhunt

Police had appealed for information on the whereabouts of Philip Theophilou (Metropolitan Police/PA)
Police had appealed for information on the whereabouts of Philip Theophilou (Metropolitan Police/PA)

A convicted killer who absconded from a mental health facility sparking a four-day police manhunt has been found and detained at a hospital in south London.

Philip Theophilou, 54, stabbed his neighbour to death in 2004.

He left the facility in Homerton on Sunday and did not return, the Metropolitan Police said.

Detectives carried out lengthy enquiries including a review of CCTV footage.

But in the early hours of Thursday, officers were called to the hospital in Croydon.

A spokesman said: “Theophilou was detained and has been returned to the facility.

“We would like to thank the public and media for their assistance.”

Theophilou admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility after killing Simon Breed, 51, in a knife attack, then living rough in Hyde Park for three days before he was caught, the Old Bailey heard in 2005.

Mr Breed received six stab wounds and several defence wounds, after Theophilou lay in wait for him with a kitchen knife outside their house in Cornwall Avenue, Alexandra Park.

Theophilou ran to the park from his home in north London, leaving Mr Breed dying outside his house.

He was sent to Broadmoor special hospital without limit of time under the Mental Health Act, in November 2005.

Doctors said he suffered from schizophrenia but had not been taking his medication at the time of the killing in April 2004.

Police believe Theophilou travelled to the Green Park area on Sunday at about 11.25am.

He was wearing a grey jumper, blue jeans, and a black jacket.