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Hotel receptionist guilty of murdering colleagues

Hotel receptionist guilty of murdering colleagues

A Radisson Edwardian hotel receptionist, who hid in a bed for two days after killing two of his colleagues, has been found guilty of their murder.

Tibor Vass and Alice Adams were stabbed to death in the Heathrow hotel's staff accommodation by 32-year old Attila Ban last August, the Old Bailey heard.

Ban initially evaded police by hiding inside the hotel divan bed on which Vass's body lay, where he is thought to have remained during the investigation of the room by officials, according to the BBC.

Prosecutor Richard Whittam QC said: "He must have been there throughout the attendance of the pathologist, the removal of the bodies and the examination of the scene by crime scene examiners.

"He had the presence of mind to have concealed himself effectively and to remain undetected throughout the time they were on the premises."

The court heard that Ban, who was voted employee of the year on feedback forms from customers, had also cut a small slit in the side of the mattress so he could see what was happening.

Speaking outside the court, detective inspector John Finch said police had not been negligent for not looking under the bed.

"I have looked back at this several times with senior management. It was such a strange and bizarre thing for a person to do. It beggars belief."

He said crime scene examiners would lose crucial forensic evidence if they lifted up beds looking for people who were not there, adding: "I would not want anyone to do anything differently in the future."

Vass, a student from Hungary, was due to return home. Ban, also Hungarian, had developed a crush on Vass and was devastated when he found out that he was due to leave, the court heard. Vass was heterosexual and did not return Ban's feelings.

Finch described Ban as cold and manipulative. He said Ban was obsessed with Vass and may have thought: "If I can't have him, no one can."

Adams, who had been stabbed 22 times, was found on the living-room floor with a cushion over her face like a "discarded rag doll" while Vass was killed on a sofa and carried into the bedroom, where he was carefully laid on one of the two beds in the room.

Speaking in court, Adams's mother, Sara, read out a statement. "My heart is broken, she said. "My life will always be tinged with sadness. I would do anything for one more Alice squeezy hug, one more smile."

Rozalia Vass said of her son: "It was impossible and devastating to believe something like this could happen. Previously, it was comforting for me to know that Tibor found a good friend in London who was mature, friendly and intelligent.

"His friend promised me personally to look after my son and not to let anything happen to him. I trusted him and regarded him as my own child."

By Janie Manzoori-Stamford

E-mail your comments to Janie Manzoori-Stamford here.

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