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Man who beat dad to death got on Belfast bus after fleeing secure hospital unit


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Stuart Reid

Stuart Reid

Knockbracken Health Care Park

Knockbracken Health Care Park

Ronald Reid

Ronald Reid

Stuart Reid

A killer who beat his father to death while being tormented with "mental illness and delusional thoughts" fled from a secure hospital unit where he is being held indefinitely.

Stuart Reid was the subject of a PSNI missing persons appeal last Tuesday after he went missing from Knockbracken Health Care Park in Belfast.

He was located within 24 hours having boarded a bus and travelled 20 miles to Downpatrick, but at no point did the PSNI warn that the 41-year-old could be dangerous and should not be approached by members of the public.

Reid has been held at the mental health facility since he killed his father Ronald Reid in Bangor on Christmas Eve 2014.

As part of his rehabilitation programme he was allowed to go at first on accompanied walks, and then unaccompanied walks, around the huge 275 acre site.

It was during one of the unaccompanied strolls last Tuesday that he exited the front gate and got a bus to Downpatrick. Sunday Life understands that Reid has now lost these privileges.

A spokesman for the Belfast Trust said it could not talk about the case as it has a strict policy of "not commenting on named individuals".

Stuart Reid was found guilty of killing his father after a 2017 trial.

Ronald Reid

The jury heard how Ronald Reid's body was discovered in his Bangor flat on December 24, 2014, and that he had suffered extensive injuries to his body caused by a severe beating.

The 63-year-old sustained multiple fractures to his ribs, and his voice box was crushed from having been choked.

His son was arrested for disorderly behaviour three days later at the Ulster Hospital, telling medical staff that his dad was lying dead at his Savoy apartment home on the Donaghadee Road.

A prosecution lawyer told the court that in the weeks leading up to the killing, there were a number of incidents demonstrating that Stuart Reid was behaving in a "bizarre and irrational way".

In one instance a "clearly intoxicated and agitated" Reid claimed he "could not trust his mother because she was a clone and he was working for MI6 and the Marines in west Belfast".

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Knockbracken Health Care Park

Knockbracken Health Care Park

Knockbracken Health Care Park

The day his father died, he made a series of emergency calls, involving either him dialling 999 or the emergency services trying to call back.

When analysed Ronald Reid could be heard in the background breathing and coughing, or attempting to shout out his address, or saying his "son is a psychopath... he's trying to kill me... he's leaning towards me".

The prosecution argued that a "clearly unwell Stuart Reid", who apparently got on well with his father, had for some unknown reason "needed to detain his father and subjected him to considerable violence from which he died".

The judge said the only option was to make Reid the subject of a hospital order for an indefinite period.

cbarnes@sundaylife.co.uk

Belfast Telegraph