Fantasist guilty of murdering gay man after bondage sex session

August 9 2017, 7.13pmUpdated: August 10 2017, 12.15am
Syndicate Post image

A fantasist caught on camera terrorising a vulnerable gay man in his own home has been found guilty of murder amid accusations police missed opportunities to catch him before he struck again.

Posing as a policeman and an MI5 agent, Jason Marshall, 28, stripped, gagged and smothered 58-year-old Peter Fasoli with cling film before setting light to his flat to cover his tracks.

For nearly two years, computer repairman Mr Fasoli’s death was put down to an accident until his nephew stumbled across CCTV of his murder stored on his hard drive. The sound of Myleene Klass’s Classic FM show was playing in the background of the footage.

In the meantime, Marshall had used Mr Fasoli’s bank cards to buy a flight to Rome, where he continued his violent spree, killing a second man and attempting to murder a third within weeks.

Marshall, from East Ham, east London, who is already serving 16 years for the attacks in Italy, was found guilty of Mr Fasoli’s murder and arson following an Old Bailey trial.

The jury deliberated for just over an hour.

Marshall showed no reaction as the verdicts were delivered.

The case has raised questions about why the original investigation failed to spot that Mr Fasoli’s bank cards were used after his death or that his murder was caught on CCTV.

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell likened the case to that of gay serial killer Stephen Port and said he was “shocked and surprised” the Independent Police Complaints Commission was not investigating.

He said: “This case has echoes of the serial killings by Stephen Port. There appears to have been missed opportunities and serious failings of the police investigation.

“Why did they not check the victim’s mobile phone, computer, bank transactions and CCTV?

“I’m shocked and surprised that the IPCC is not ordering an investigation.

“Yet again we are hearing about the horrific killing of a gay man where the police seem to have not followed quite basic investigative procedures.

“This case is another example of an isolated, vulnerable gay man being targeted by a predator using gay dating apps.”

The trial had heard how former male escort Marshall stalked victims on gay dating website Badoo.

He went to Mr Fasoli’s flat in Northolt, west London, on the evening of January 6, 2013, on the pretext of bondage sex, dressed as a law enforcement agent complete with handcuffs, police utility belt, holster and latex gloves.

He “arrested” Mr Fasoli “for being a spy” and during his fake interrogation he threatened to cut his tongue with a large hunting knife to extract his PIN numbers. He then stole £780.

Jurors were shown harrowing footage of the victim bound and naked on his bed, begging for his life and complaining he could not breathe when Marshall wound cling film around his head.

The original investigation into Mr Fasoli’s death concluded he died accidentally from smoke inhalation and the blaze was probably caused by a light bulb above his bed, although the court heard it was switched off.

After the footage emerged of the killing, a pathologist found that asphyxiation also contributed to his death, although he was still alive but unconscious when the fire started.

While on the run in Italy, Marshall strangled Vincenzo Iale, 67, with electrical flex in his flat and made off with his bank card and car on January 26, 2013.

Just over a week later, he posed as a British embassy official when he met Umberto Gismondi, 54, armed with a holster, utility belt, pistol, pepper spray and truncheon.

He bound and gagged Mr Gismondi as he demanded cash but fled after the victim managed to alert his neighbours.

In July 2014, Marshall was found guilty of murder and attempted murder and was jailed for 16 years.

At his Italian trial, the defendant claimed someone else killed Mr Iale and that Mr Gismondi had attacked him.

But he told his Old Bailey trial that was a lie, and claimed to have suffered from amnesia the whole time.

Marshall told jurors he enjoyed dressing up as officials and was arrested many times for impersonating police officers.

Under cross-examination, he admitted he got pleasure from dominating naked men while pretending to be a policeman, although S&M sex was just “a well-paid venture”.

Asked by Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC if he had been trying to “terrify” Mr Fasoli, he said: “Yes, my lord, with the prospect of torture.”

Marshall looked blank as Judge Hilliard suggested he could be sentenced to a minimum of 30 years, if he was to decide the murder was sadistic and for gain.

Prosecutor Edward Brown QC said the defendant had a string of previous convictions dating back to 2006 for robbery, impersonating a police officer and having an air weapon in public.

He said: “Mr Fasoli was not particularly close to his family. His sister is in the North of England as well as her son who discovered the material.”

However he said they had all lost their relative, and his nephew, who attended the first day of the trial, was particularly affected by the discovery of the video of his uncle’s death.

Marshall was remanded in custody to be sentenced on a date to be fixed.

Detective Inspector James Stevenson, of Scotland Yard, said: “We are pleased that today’s verdict has brought Marshall to account for the brutal killing of Peter.

“This was a cold blooded attack, during which Marshall cynically gained the trust of a vulnerable older man to get entry into his home, then subjected him to a horrific and prolonged ordeal and ruthlessly ignoring Peter’s cries for help knowing he was fighting to stay alive. Marshall then did everything he could to evade being brought to justice.

“There was a thorough investigation between the Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade that concluded the most likely cause of the fire was accidental and it revealed no pathological evidence of third party involvement.”

The murder only came to light when the victim’s nephew, Christopher Murgatroyd, examined his computer hard drive and found a number of videos featuring his uncle having sex with other men as well as his horrific death.

Sally-Anne Russell, from the CPS, said: “If it hadn’t been for Mr Fasoli’s own laptop footage, Marshall may have escaped justice.

“That video, which was extremely disturbing, clearly showed Marshall’s true intentions and undermined any false account he could give, leading to today’s guilty verdict.

“Our thoughts are now with Mr Fasoli’s family.”

Editors' Picks

Breaking:

    Cancel

    Sign up for our newsletter

    Fill in the form to sign up for the Courier newsletter

    Thank you. You have been successfully subscribed to our newsletter.

    Close