ALERT: Convicted killer who strangled homeless man and tried to break into Buckingham Palace could be on the loose in Sheffield

Ghodratollah Barani.
Ghodratollah Barani.

A convicted killer who strangled a homeless man and then tried to get into Buckingham Palace has gone missing and could be in his former hometown of Sheffield.

Ghodratollah Barani disappeared a week ago from the mental health unit where he is receiving treatment for a psychotic disorder and police warned he could act violently if approached by a member of the public.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

A number of national newspapers have reported how Barani strangled a rough sleeper in Marble Arch, London, in 2013. Court reports from the time described how he claimed voices in his head told him to kill someone so he could become king.

The 31-year-old allegedly then spent the next week repeatedly trying to get into Buckingham Palace to see the Queen.

He has been living at Evergreen Lodge in Croydon, a care home for 12 men with complex mental health needs, since 2015, when he pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Barani, who previously lived in Sheffield, went missing from the facility on May 12.

South Yorkshire Police shared a warning issued by the Croydon constabulary that members of the public should not approach him as he has not had his medication and could "act in a violent manner."

A spokesperson for Croydon Police said: "He has been a resident at the care home since November 2015, receiving treatment for a psychotic disorder. He has not been seen or heard from since and this is out of character. Police are extremely concerned for his welfare.

"Ghodratollah requires regular medication and he has not taken this with him. Without this medication. Ghodratollah's mental health is expected to deteriorate and there are concerns that he could act in a violent manner.

"He is known to frequent the Croydon, Bromley and central London areas - he has also previously lived in Sheffield."

The force did not mention in their original appeal that he was a convicted killer.

But Detective Chief Inspector Richard McDonagh, from Croydon CID, said this was because they did not want to "unduly alarm people because the circumstances at that time were different to the circumstances he has now in terms of his mental health state."

Ghodratollah is originally from Afghanistan and described as 5ft 6ins tall, with a medium build and a broad face. He was last seen wearing blue jeans and a green hooded top.

Anyone who sees him is urged to ring 999.