A man who admitted killing his mother by setting fire to their home has been detained indefinitely.

Joel Ellis, 36, removed a smoke detector and used petrol as an accelerant to set fire to his flat in north London, a court heard.

His mother Beatrice Yankson, 59, was pulled from the blaze on 26 October and died of burns and inhalation of fumes.

Judge Richard Marks said Ellis had been suffering from “very significant symptoms” of mental illness.

Mother ‘was afraid’

Among these was the paranoid belief that he had to burn himself so that his body would be destroyed, the judge told the Old Bailey.

His mental health problems dated back to 2017, the court heard.

The prosecution said Ellis bought a container of petrol two days before the fire and removed a smoke detector in the flat in Mingard Walk, Islington.

Prosecutor Simon Denison QC said: “Ellis’s mother reported to others she was afraid he was going to harm her.”

Two Samurai swords, two knives and a blank firing pistol loaded with cartridges were found in Ellis’s bedroom following the blaze, the court heard.

Hospital order

Ellis said he had intended to kill himself in the fire and did not know she was home at the time.

He was charged with murder but pleaded guilty to an alternative offence of manslaughter and arson.

The pleas were accepted by the prosecution after psychiatrists agreed he was suffering from depression and schizophrenia.

Judge Richard Marks gave Ellis a hospital order without limit of time.

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