Attila Ban guilty of murdering Heathrow hotel colleagues
- 18 July 2012
- From the section London
A Heathrow airport hotel receptionist who hid in a bed for two days after killing two of his colleagues has been found guilty of their murder.
Attila Ban, 32, stabbed to death Tibor Vass and Alice Adams in the Radisson Edwardian Hotel's staff accommodation last August, the Old Bailey heard.
Ban evaded police, investigators and a pathologist by climbing into a divan bed, which Mr Vass's body was lying on.
Miss Adams had been stabbed 22 times. All three had worked at the hotel.
Ban had denied murder but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Mr Vass, a student from Hungary, had been due to return home.
The court heard that Ban, who is also Hungarian, had developed a crush on Mr Vass and was devastated when he found out that he was due to leave. Mr Vass was heterosexual and did not return his feelings.
Miss Adams, of Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, had only been working at the hotel for three weeks. She was described as popular and fun-loving.
Ban was described as cold and manipulative by Det Insp John Finch who said Ban was obsessed with Mr Vass and may have thought: "If I can't have him, no-one can."
Police were called after Ban, who had climbed into the bed with his mobile phone and a bottle of water, updated his Facebook page, saying "I would like to wake up from this nightmare", and all three failed to turn up for work.
'Strange and bizarre'
Of Ban hiding in the bed, 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.
After the bodies were moved, he crawled out from the bed and cut his wrists and neck in an unsuccessful suicide bid before he was found.
Speaking outside the court, Mr 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.
He added: "I would not want anyone to do anything differently in the future."
Miss Adams was found on the living-room floor with a cushion over her face like a "discarded rag doll" while Tibor was killed on a sofa and carried into the bedroom, where he was carefully laid on one of the two beds in the room.
The bodies had been the last things to be moved after the forensic work was completed.
It is not known why he killed Miss Adams.
Speaking in court, Miss Adams' mother Sara read out an impact statement which said: "My heart is broken. My life will always be tinged with sadness."
She added: "The most difficult thing to cope with is not knowing exactly what happened to my lovely Alice that night.
"Horrific as it would be to hear, the truth would be preferable to the constant struggle going on in my mind of trying to figure out the sequence of events leading up to Alice's murder."
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."