Schizophrenic who murdered refugee and severed his penis jailed for 23 years
Bristol Crown Court heard that psychiatrists had opposed Jeffrey Barry’s release.
A mental health patient who murdered a refugee and cut off his penis hours after being released from a psychiatric hospital has been jailed for at least 23 years.
Jeffrey Barry, 56, stabbed his neighbour, Kamil Ahmad, 49, to death at his flat in Wells Road in Bristol at about 2am on July 7 last year.
The murder took place hours after Barry, who has paranoid schizophrenia, was released from a psychiatric hospital.
Bristol Crown Court heard that psychiatrists had opposed Barry’s release, but a mental health tribunal ruled that he should be discharged.
Barry told a community psychiatric nurse he was “criminally insane” in a phone call he made minutes before the fatal attack.
But police discovered a note in his room reading: “The fact is, I have acted out my entire psychiatric history. I’m very well. Sorry.”
A jury unanimously convicted Barry, who is being held at Broadmoor Hospital, of murder following a two-week trial.
Jailing Barry for life, Mrs Justice May said: “In hindsight, the decision to discharge Mr Barry from hospital is nothing short of calamitous, given what happened hours later.
“On the jury’s verdict, notwithstanding you were suffering from a chronic mental illness, you were not in such a grip of illness that you didn’t know what you were doing.”
Prosecutors had asserted that Mr Ahmad’s murder was racially motivated and therefore should carry an increased sentence but the judge said Barry held a range of grievances against him.
“Mr Barry’s thought system has been polluted and distorted by his mental illness over the years and the things he said cannot be judged by the standards of the sane general public,” the judge added.
David Jeremy QC, defending, said Barry should never have been released by the mental health tribunal and that his client was a “victim” of a “flawed decision”.
“In assessing his responsibility, the sentence should reflect that the responsibility for Mr Ahmad’s death is shared by others,” he said.
“The defendant should not have been discharged to the address he shared with Mr Ahmad. It is too simple to pin responsibility to him in the sentence you will pass for the death of Mr Ahmad.
“Jeffrey Barry, as well as Mr Ahmad, is a victim of a flawed decision to discharge him from hospital on the day he went home to murder Mr Ahmad.”
Mr Jeremy added that it would be “overly simplistic” to treat Mr Ahmad’s death as a racially aggravated murder as he also thought he was a terrorist and a paedophile.
Barry was racist towards Mr Ahmad after he moved into the Wells Road flats, which are run by Milestones Trust for adults requiring support.
On May 24 last year, he told support workers he wanted to be notorious and murder a member of the public, adding: “Kamil would be top of my list.”
He wrote a note saying he planned to kill people living in the house, including Mr Ahmad.
Barry had relapsed after he stopped taking anti-psychotic drug clozapine in November 2015. He was drinking heavily, smoking skunk cannabis and behaving in a sexually inappropriate manner.
On June 13, he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act after being filmed on CCTV performing a sex act, wearing only a police hat.
He was taken to Callington Road Hospital in Bristol before being transferred to the Cygnet Hospital Kewstoke in Weston-super-Mare.
A mental health tribunal ruled on June 28 that Barry could be released, after he promised not to drink or take drugs.
Staff at the Milestones Trust were only informed of the decision a few hours before he returned to Wells Road. They attempted to get an injunction to prevent him doing so, in an attempt to protect Mr Ahmad, but there was insufficient time.
A Safeguarding Adults Review has been commissioned to examine the circumstances of Mr Ahmad’s murder.