Defendant jailed for life for attempted murder of deaf and pregnant ex-partner – Grace Ong led Marie de Redman of Goldsmith Chambers for the Crown

May 7, 2024
Grace Ong

Harry Owusu-Manu, 39, was sentenced on 5th May 2024 to life imprisonment for attempted murder with a minimum of 22 years following a 5-week trial at the Old Bailey.

Dashcam footage from his own van shows the moment that Owusu-Manu walked towards his ex-partner’s flat in Battersea to start a fire while she was inside.  Investigators found he had set light to a doormat and forced it under her door.  He then attempted to cover his tracks by spray painting the lens of a nearby CCTV camera.  Footage also shows him attempting to dispose of the clothes he was wearing at the time.  The attack was partly motivated by religious hostility as his ex-partner had met a Muslim man and converted to Islam.

The victim is profoundly deaf and was pregnant at the time.  She was woken by her child crying, which triggered an alarm that vibrated under her pillow.  Both she and her young daughter were rescued by firefighters and treated for smoke inhalation.

The court heard evidence of another arson attack allegedly carried out by the defendant against the same woman in 2009.  He was also issued with a restraining order in 2015 for assault upon another female.

Her Honour Judge Rebecca Poulet KC concluded that Owusu-Manu poses a threat to members of the public, particularly women.

Moment ex went to torch deaf pregnant mother’s home