From marshalling to murder: Queen Mary law dropout jailed for life

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By Thomas Connelly on

This time last year the former student at UK’s third highest-ranked law school was apparently marshalling at the Old Bailey — where he was sentenced today


A law student who dropped out of Queen Mary University of London has been jailed for life after bludgeoning a stranger to death while high on designer drugs.

Malachi Lindo, who apparently did a stint of marshalling at the Old Bailey last year, was today sentenced to a minimum of 14 years in prison for the murder of passer-by Philip Steels.

Lindo — high on, amongst other things, cannabis, cocaine, MDMA and Ethylone at the time — repeatedly struck Steels’ head with a brick in the early hours of Thursday 4 September last year.

The ex-wannabe lawyer, now 27, suffered from depression, failing to complete his law degree at Queen Mary before opting to work at a Tesco store and sell drugs to make ends meet.

However, it seems that Lindo continued to harbour ambitions of a legal career, with the Mail Online reporting that he had marshalled for a judge at the Old Bailey — the same court where he was sentenced today — as recently as last year.

This work experience would have taken place well after Lindo quit Queen Mary, with a spokesperson for the University of London college — ranked third for law by the Guardian — confirming to Legal Cheek that his last date of attendance was June 2008. A spokesperson commented:

“Our records indicate that Malachi Lindo was enrolled at Queen Mary University of London during the 2007/08 academic year. The student did not complete, and his last date of attendance was recorded in June 2008.”

During Lindo’s trial, the court heard how the former law student, from Enfield in north London, had left a friend’s home in the early hours of the morning in an agitated state due to a long-running feud with a neighbour.

Lindo then got into an altercation with Steels on Green Street in Newham, east London, which resulted in the 51 year-old charity worker being knocked to the ground and repeatedly hit over the head with a brick.

Leaving Steels in a pool of his own blood, the law dropout apparently sat on the opposite side of the street for 15 minutes before eventually fleeing the scene.

Police later arrested the then 26 year-old, who admitted taking a concoction of drugs. The court heard how the former law student spat at arresting officers before asking if he could go home, telling them, “I promise I won’t kill again”. Lindo’s lawyers claimed he was in a “drug-induced psychosis” at the time of the attack.

Sentencing, Judge Worsley highlighted the extent of the former law student’s fall from grace, describing Lindo as an intelligent man who was the first of his family to attend university. The judge also pointed out to the court that it was only this time last year that Lindo had undertaken a stint of marshalling at the Old Bailey. Lindo, who had admitted to the manslaughter of Steels, but was convicted of murder last Thursday, was then sentenced to life with a minimum of 14 years imprisonment.