This week 30 years ago: Grim week for Hackney with school teacher shooting rampage, human fireball and teenage tower fall

PUBLISHED: 09:38 31 October 2018 | UPDATED: 15:55 06 November 2018

Hackney Gazette November 4, 1988.

Hackney Gazette November 4, 1988.


An obsessive school teacher was sentenced to life in prison for shooting dead a pupil and his father, an exploding fireball killed a man, and a teenager was left in agony after falling 40 ft off a block of flats.

Paul Osman, a maths teacher at Homerton House School and “rejected loner”, had grown to fantasise about Hungerford mass murderer Michael Ryan after being abandoned by his parents and foster parents, acording to the Gazette.

He “went berserk” with a sawn-off shotgun. There were two fatalities but, miraculously, another teacher and pupil survived the rampage.

Meanwhile a 20-year-old man set himself alight and doused his flat in Fairfield House, on Homerton’s Kingsmead Estate in petrol.

And William Wade, 19, slipped and fell after climbing up to his flat in Patterson Court after forgetting his keys on a night out and not wanting to wake up his parents.

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