37-year-old Erik Feld has been jailed for life after he fulfilled a "psychopath Fantasy" to kill a random stranger in a Gothic graveyard.
He hid in the shadows behind a gravestone before launching himself on 51-year-old Ranjith Kankanamalage in the early hours of the morning, the Old Bailey heard.
In East London, Mr. Kankanamalage was hit 12 times in the face and head with a claw hammer, causing fatal injuries. The victim was found by a member of the public on a path in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park later the same morning.
Mr. Kankanamalage had moved to the UK to study, leaving his wife and children behind.
In a statement read out to the court, his daughter, Hiruni Kankanamalage, who watched proceedings through a video, described her father as her "best friend" who was "cruelly murdered before his dreams could come true."
Mr. Kankanamalage was in a civil partnership with another man for a few years, While in London, who called him a "kind and gentle" person.
Overseeing proceedings, the judge, Mr. Justice Bryan KC, described the murder as "selfish, callous, and abhorrent."
He added that why the victim was in a park at such hours was unknown and irrelevant, but that happened to be the wrong place at the wrong time.
Erik Feld Has Had a Horrifying Long-time Obsession With Violence
Erik has always had a long-standing "psychopath Fantasy" to kill a random stranger. He regularly went out with a hammer, razor blades, and screwdriver, hoping to catch someone unawares. He had also watched several graphic videos of attacks weeks before the attack.
In his trial, Feld contrived what the judge described as a ridiculous story about the incident and launched a homophobic invective against the victim, who had an ex-civil partner in the UK and an ex-wife with two children in Sri Lanka.
The court heard that Feld was diagnosed with personality disorder. However, he had deliberately chosen a 'gothic and monochromatic setting' to kill the victim.
On Wednesday, He was jailed for life with a minimum term of 28 years by Mr. Justice Bryan, describing his crime as a “horrific and abhorrent” murder.
He said that Feld picked the “creepy and Gothic” setting because it fitted in with his long-time desire to kill a stranger with a hammer, and Mr. Kankanamalage had the “harsh misfortune” of being the victim.
Mr. Justice Bryan told Feld, "your selfish, abhorrent, and callous actions carried out to fulfill your "psychopathic fantasy had a devastating impact on Mr. Kankanamalage’s loved ones."
The judge consented with barristers in the case that the starting point for sentencing was 25 years rather than 30 years if the murder was aggravated by hostility to his victim’s sexual orientation.