A man believed to have died ‘accidentally’ was actually murdered by a serial killer, a new inquest has ruled.
Peter Fasoli, 58, was stripped, gagged, handcuffed and smothered in cling film by Jason Marshall, who he had met on a dating site.
His home then caught fire and he was found unresponsive by firefighters in his home in Northolt, west London, in January 2013.
He died in hospital and a verdict of accidental death was recorded at the original inquest, held the same year.
However, two senior judges squashed the original verdict after video footage of Fasoli’s killing was recovered, causing a new inquest to take place.
The footage led to Marshall being jailed in September 2017, for a minimum if 39 years.
During the new inquest, at West London Coroner’s Court, a coroner attached no blame to either the police or London Fire Brigade for the previous botched ruling.
However, Assistant Coroner Dr Sean Cummings acknowledged that minor oversights had been made.
He told the hearing: ‘The family of Mr Fasoli have asked why this wasn’t discovered earlier.’
The video footage of Mr Fasoli’s death was discovered by his nephew, who found a series of hard-drives in his uncle’s house, one of which contained a seven-hour long video of the murder.
Detective Inspector James Stevenson stated that the incident began as ‘role play’, with Marshall playing a ‘secret agent type character’ while wearing a police issue holster, firearm and handcuffs.
Marshall could then be seen encouraging Mr Fasoli to strip naked and be hog-tied, before attempting to smother his victim after he withdrew his consent.
He then persuades Mr Fasoli to hand over his pin number and left the flat to make a number of purchases.
The footage shows him later returning and covering Mr Fasoli’s face with clingfilm, before the pair fall behind the sofa, where it is assumed his victim died.
Marshall then rifles through the flat, causing the video to cut out – but the audio continued to record him pouring fluid around the flat before the ‘clicks’ of a lighter are heard.
He stole nearly £800 from his victim and then fled to Italy, where he killed a second man and attacked a third before finally being caught.
During the new inquest, the coroner noted that Mr Fasoli had not been a smoker, stating that it had been ‘a mistake perhaps’ to infer the fire was accidental when matches were found by his body.
DI Stevenson, who was not involved in the original investigation, said: ‘There were none of the classic tell-tale signs of a deliberate fire.
‘When you have an arson, you usually have a number places where a fire was started. In this case, there was no evidence of that, or of an accelerant being used. It must have burned off.’
There was also no clear evidence that Mr Fasoli had been restrained, with DI Stevenson continuing: ‘He would have been consenting to everything at first, so there was not any sign of restraint marks during the autopsy.
‘Because of fire damage, any marks had been burned off.’
In an earlier trial, a judge said that ‘no evidence of an assault or a restraint by a third party’ was found in Mr Fasoli’s post-mortem.
A report from the London Fire Brigade also concluded that the fire was likely accidentally caused by an ‘LED bulb falling onto bedding’.
After considering the new evidence available, Dr Cummings recorded conclusion that Mr Fasoli was unlawfully killed.
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