British MMA champion, 30, who called himself 'The Nightmare' knifed to death by his half-brother

A BRIT MMA champion known as ‘The Nightmare’ was brutally knifed to death at his 30th birthday party by his half-brother.

Jahreau Shepherd was celebrating with his family at a BBQ when Dwight Freeman, 19, began hacking at him with a machete, a court heard.

The welterweight champ was declared dead at the scene in Kennington, South London, after the unprovoked knife frenzy in July last year.

Freeman had armed himself with a two-foot machete or zombie knife and at least one other bladed weapon before killing Mr Shepherd.

The champion MMA fighter suffered 13 stab wounds with one 18.5cm gash piercing a rib and his lung.

His pal Joel Belgrave-Marr was also stabbed as he desperately tried to save Jehreau.

Horrified witnesses revealed how Jahreau's mum had screamed "please save my baby" as he bled to death.

Freeman has today been detained indefinitely in Broadmoor maximum security psychiatric hospital after admitting manslaughter and wounding with intent.


The Old Bailey heard how Freeman – known as DJ – had become abusive, aggressive and also experienced paranoid delusions in the months leading up to the killing.

His mum Lena Freeman had woken up before to find her son staring at her from the foot of the bed.

Jahreau, who was like a "father figure" to Freeman, had grown tough with his half brother over his drug use.

He insisted he stop smoking powerful skunk cannabis and urged him to "fix up and behave better".

Guests told how they saw the pair arguing at the family BBQ last summer – with Jahreau appearing to "tell his brother off".


Later in the evening, Freeman pulled out the machete and stabbed Jahreau's friend Belgrave-Marr as he tried to grab the weapon.

He then plunged the blade into Jahreau's stomach "multiple times" before fleeing.

Common Sergeant of London Judge Richard Marks, QC, told the teenager his habitual use of skunk cannabis may have contributed to his mental state.

Two psychiatric reports on Freeman, ordered by both the prosecution and his defence, concluded that he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the attack.

Judge Marks said: “The severity of your brother's injuries were such that they were unsurvivable, and he died at the scene.

“I have seen one of the weapons you used, it is 2 foot in length, and terrifying in appearance."

Tributes flooded in for Jahreau after the tragedy.

Devastated friends and relatives revealed Jahreau, who was lining up his next fight, had a 6-2 win record in professional Mixed Martial Arts, five by knockout.

His cousin, Tanisha Shepherd, 27, said: “He lived and breathed fighting.

"He was so looking forward to the gym opening again after the lockdown and was lining up a fight.

“He had everything to live for. He helped keep the young people on the straight and narrow and was a role model.”

A spokesman for his promoters said: “Jay, our welterweight champion, was hugely talented and great fun to be around, a big personality with a huge smile and infectious laugh.

“Inside the cage, he was destined for the top – a champion in three different organisations with heavy hands and a warrior heart.”

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