A man found footage of his uncle’s alleged murder at the hands of a man he met on an online dating app two years after everyone believed he died in a fire, a court has heard.
IT expert Peter Fasoli, 58, was filmed being taunted and smothered by Jason Marshall, 28, while Classic FM played in the background, it is alleged.
Jurors at the Old Bailey heard how “fantasist” Marshall set fire to the victim’s one-bedroom bungalow in Northolt, West London, in January 2013 to cover up the alleged killing, The Daily Mail reports.
An investigation at the time of Mr Fasoli’s death concluded it was an accident and the fire may have been sparked by a faulty light which fell onto bedding.
For nearly two years Mr Fasoli’s death was believed to be a tragic result of the fire, until his nephew stumbled across footage of his uncle’s final moments on his computer’s hard drive in November 2014.
Grisly video footage allegedly showed Marshall tying up and and gagging Mr Fasoli as he engineered a sexual role-playing game that grew increasingly violent and left Mr Fasoli visibly distressed.
After stubbing a cigarette out on the Mr Fasoli’s chest, Marshall demanded to know his PIN number before leaving his flat to go to a cash machine, leaving the computer engineer lying helplessly on his bed for 20 minutes.
When Marshall returned, footage showed him proceed to smother Mr Fasoli with cling-film and a plastic bag, jurors were told.
The harrowing video, which lasted for six hours, continued to record audio as Marshall cleaned up the scene before later setting fire to it, the court heard.
Thee sound of flames and a fire alarm ringing out were recorded shorty before the video ended.
An initial post-mortem found that Mr Fasoli died as a result of smoke inhalation. A re-examination found he was still alive when the fire was started, but that prior restraint and asphyxia also contributed to his death.
Prosecutor Edward Brown QC told jurors: “The fire was intended to hide a terrible crime.
“Peter Fasoli was killed intentionally. He had been subjected to a calculated and determined attack by this defendant whom he invited into his home.
“In the end he literally fought for his life but by the time Mr Fasoli fully understood the true motives of the person who had tricked his way into his home, it was too late.
“Desperate as his attempts were, he could do nothing – as you will all too graphically come to understand.
“The fire was set by this defendant in an attempt to disguise what truly happened – and the defendant Jason Marshall very nearly succeeded in escaping justice.”
Marshall, of East Ham, east London, denies murder. The trial continues.