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Man who stabbed lorry driver to be detained in hospital indefinitely

By Michael Donnelly

A Belfast man who repeatedly stabbed a lorry driver after voices from his TV said he was delivering dead bodies to his street was yesterday ordered to be detained in hospital indefinitely.

The 27-year-old man, who has been in and out of mental care for nearly seven years, was acquitted by a Belfast Crown Court jury earlier this week of attempting to murder the delivery driver "by reason of insanity".

Judge David McFarland said that after taking evidence from two leading psychiatrists, it was appropriate to make a "hospital order" and given the clinical view of the man's mental condition "that order will be without time limit".

The Belfast Recorder said that the impact of the hospital order, made on behalf of the Belfast Health Trust, "will wipe the slate clean" of all past orders, and that the man will remain at the Knockbracken Healthcare Park.

Earlier, Dr Richard Bunn, who has been treating the man, said the order was needed to protect the public from serious harm as the man's paranoid schizophrenia would remain a "lifelong condition".

At the time of the knife attack on September 26, 2016, the man had been released by the Mental Health Tribunal, despite objections from Dr Bunn, and he was being regulated by injection. The man had also been drinking and taking a so-called legal high drug.

The man told another leading psychiatrist, Dr Fred Browne, that while he thought the drug helped him concentrate, he also "accepted he began seeing things after prolonged use".

After the knife attack on the lorry driver, who was repeatedly stabbed, the man also told doctors he believed it was up to him to "protect" his neighbours from the driver, who he believed was "delivering dead bodies".

He also suggested that he was "set up" by people from the TV series Stargate Atlantis who, he said, had the technology to interact with him and tell him to do things.

The man, who had threatened to cut the driver's throat, later told police he had been watching TV when he looked out of the window and saw the delivery driver.

He said: "Something was telling me that he was burying dead bodies."

Belfast Telegraph

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