Peter Hitchens: “Why don’t they ask whether these mass killers are on drugs?”

Mail+ | 25th May 2022

My experience in this country is that the police are very reluctant to discuss the role of illegal drugs in violence. This is, I think, usually because I am the only person asking and they do not want to discuss it. So they do not have to. Yet an appalling number of violent crimes are committed in this country by drug abusers, especially marijuana abusers, as Ross Grainger’s website documents in grim and growing detail.  Mr Grainger has repeatedly tried to get official inquiries to take note of his survey, but with little success. 

https://www.mailplus.co.uk/edition/comment/185071/why-dont-they-ask-whether-these-mass-killers-are-on-drugs

Terrifying moment ‘Terminator’ Tube attacker starts wild Underground machete attack as he swings blade at commuter he had never met is revealed as he is convicted of attempted murder

Daily Mail | 20th

Forensic psychologist Dr Frank Farnham said Morgan had a ‘troubled childhood’ having been taken into foster care between the ages of 12 and 16.

Morgan told Dr Farnham that he first took cannabis when he was 12 and this increased his paranoia.

He also had a history of cocaine use, taking crack from the age of 20.

Dr Farnham said Morgan ‘probably has a personality disorder’, adding:

‘Heavy drinking, lockdown, isolation…are all important things that led to an acute mental crisis’, said Dr Farnham.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10837445/Ricky-Morgan-guilty-Terminator-tube-attack.html

Hero Brit backpacker died trying to save woman from frenzied knife attack

Daily Mirror | 13th April 2022

A hero backpacker who tried to save the life of a fellow traveller during a “frenzied knife attack” died when he was stabbed in the head in an Australian hostel.

Thomas Leslie Jackson, from Cheshire , bravely went to the aid of fellow Brit Mia Ayliff-Chung when she had been stabbed several times at Home Hill, Queensland.

Miss Ayliff-Chung, from Derbyshire, was pronounced dead at the scene while Mr Jackson died from his severe injuries in Townsville Hospital six days later, Cheshire Live reports.

An inquest into Mr Jackson’s death heard French backpacker Smail Ayad carried out the attack while ‘psychotic and under the influence of cannabis’.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/hero-brit-backpacker-died-trying-26700165

Although this murder took place in Australia, I have added it to the site (which heretofore featured only crimes from the UK and Ireland) because the victim was British.

Doctor murdered in homophobic attack by two men and teenage girl

Wales Online | 3rd February 2022

A doctor was murdered in a homophobic attack carried out by two men and a teenage girl in a Cardiff park after they targeted a gay man to rob.

Dr Gary Jenkins, 54, was brutally beaten, kicked and punched to death in Bute Park in the early hours of July 20 last year.

Audio of the horrendous attack, carried out by Jason Edwards, 25, Lee Strickland, 36, and Dionne Timms-Williams, 17, depicted Dr Jenkins pleading for help and for his attacks to “Leave me alone” but his cries were left unheeded…

*****

Witness Owain Hill explains how the encounter with the group he met in Bute Park in the early hours of July 20 last year developed…

“There’s a wooden seating area we sat on behind the Summerhouse Cafe and they just asked me about being gay. The one who was originally sat down he started lighting a cigaretts of cannabis I think.

“In that moment I started getting uncomfortable and made an excuse to leave… I believe I said I had work in the morning so had to go… I just felt they were really intoxicated and by that point I had sobered up and didn’t want to be around that.

“I thought they were pressuring me to drink with them and they were going to pressure me into smoking with them which I didn’t want to do, I wanted to leave really.”

*****

Edwards says he hadn’t taken cannabis or crack on the day in question, and had only drunk alcohol – he puts his level of intoxication as seven out of 10.

In response to questions from officers the defendants says he takes cannabis to make him “calmer”, and that he takes it because he is no longer given Rital for his ADHD.

Officer: “How much do you smoke?”

Edwards: “Enough.”

Officer: “How much does it cost you?”

Edwards: “No comment.”

*****

Edwards says he was unable to get cannabis or crack in the city centre on the day in question but that friends he wouldn’t name had bought him alcohol. He denies committing crime to buy drugs, saying his use is funded through benefits and his nan.

He says he uses cannabis as “self-medication”.

The jury is now hearing details of another interview with Edwards. When the officer mentions CCTV audio from the Summerhouse Cafe in Bute Park the defendant said he has remembered being chased by undercover police officers in the early hours of the morning. He said he ran from officers because he had cannabis on him, and did not want to get caught, and that he hid in a block of flats before going home.

Asked why he had not mentioned this incident before, Edwards replied: “It’s only just coming back to me.” The defendant says cannabis affects his memory and that he is addicted to it, calling it his “medication”. Edwards describes his use of crack cocaine as a “hobby”.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/bute-park-murder-trial-court-22849979

Manchester Arndale attack: Man who randomly assaulted five people in shopping centre with knife sentenced

Sky News | 17th January 2022

The court heard Chevelleau – a regular cannabis user – suffers from a schizophrenic illness which has been resistant to treatment.

He was admitted to hospital in 2006 for a psychiatric illness, while his mother said he was diagnosed in prison with schizophrenia when he was 21.

A consultant forensic psychiatrist had previously told the court he thought it was “highly unlikely” Chevelleau would have committed the offences if he had not been suffering from schizophrenia.

https://news.sky.com/story/manchester-arndale-attack-man-who-randomly-assaulted-five-people-in-shopping-centre-with-knife-sentenced-12518279

Peter Hitchens: ‘A foolish silence’

Mail on Sunday | 2nd January 2022

‘For some time I have tried to find out if drugs – especially marijuana – may have been involved in cases of apparently irrational violence. This is because the excellent Ross Grainger has compiled the website Attacker Smoked Cannabis, which records the huge number of crazed violent crimes in this country, where the perpetrator has been found to have been taking this drug. I suspect there are many more, where it never comes out.

The police are astonishingly unhelpful in such matters. I think this may be because they are rightly embarrassed about their almost total failure to enforce the law against marijuana possession.

Anyway, you might like to know that when I asked if any investigation had been made into whether the suspect in the recent Windsor Castle incident had used illegal drugs, Scotland Yard refused to answer the question.’

https://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2022/01/this-is-peter-hitchens-mail-on-sunday-column-last-week-i-described-a-long-ago-christmas-in-moscow-in-those-days-the-capi.html

Nelson man psychotic after years of taking cannabis and cocaine killed his dad

Lancashire Telegraph | 3rd December 2021

The court heard how Walker, who was a habitual cannabis and cocaine user, first taking the class B drug aged 11, and later aged 25 beginning to use the class A stimulant, had been sectioned in April last year, just weeks before he killed his own father, due to erratic behaviour caused by a withdrawal from prescribed anti-depressants and an adverse reaction to lockdown restrictions, which had left him paranoid.

https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/19759182.nelson-man-psychotic-years-taking-cannabis-cocaine-killed-dad/

Three recently added stories

First, the sentencing of Zephaniah McLeod for a murderous rampage in Birmingham last year: Zephaniah McLeod: Birmingham stabbing spree killer sentenced

High on cannabis and cocaine at the time of the attacks, McLeod was well know to health services and had previous convictions for drug offences, amongst others.

Next, the heinous killing of 25-year-old Lauren Bloomer last year by her boyfriend Jake Nolman after he had suffered an ‘adverse’ reaction to eating cannabis-infused cakes: Man ‘killed girlfriend after eating cannabis cake’.

Both stories have been filed under murder.

And finally, Kasim Hussain, who first stabbed and very nearly killed a university lecturer three years ago, before being let out on bail and stabbing a second victim: University lecturer 1cm from death as knifeman plunged blade into back during random attack.

Sentencing, Judge Peter Kelson, describing Hussain’s drug consumption, said: “It’s about time the users of cannabis woke up to the fact many people suffer psychological harm from taking that drug.”

Filed under violence.

‘Despicable’ man bludgeoned ‘caring and kind’ neighbour to death with wood carving

My London | 9th September 2021

Judge Marks QC told Osei: “Doctors all agree at the time of the offences you were suffering from schizoaffective disorder compounded by substance misuse, namely cannabis.

“It is a very relevant consideration that for a number of months you had been non-compliant with your medication.

“You had been suffering from this illness for about the last 18 years and that had resulted in numerous hospital admissions.

“It is evident from the violent nature of this attack when you are not well and not properly medicated you are capable of being extremely dangerous.”

https://www.mylondon.news/news/north-london-news/despicable-man-bludgeonedcaring-kindneighbour-death-21518269

Man jailed for seven years for serious sex assault on woman as she lay unconscious

Yorkshire Evening Post | 22nd Oct. 2021

Hancock was found guilty of the offence by a jury at Leeds Crown Court after a trial in which he gave evidence and accused his victim and another woman of making up the allegation as part of a “conspiracy.”

The court heard Hancock, the victim and the woman had been drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis on the night of the attack.

https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/crime/man-jailed-for-seven-years-for-serious-sex-assault-on-woman-as-she-lay-unconscious-3428579

Woman punches and bites ear of Manchester Arena bombing survivor in pub attack

Daily Mirror | 27th Sep. 2021

A woman attacked a Manchester Arena bombing survivor and bit off part of her ear after punching her and dragging her to the ground.

Amy Bruce was left permanently disfigured after the horrific attack at a pub in Gateshead.

Amy and her friend Elizabeth Brown were waiting for a friend to come out the toilet to leave when patron Sophie Watson, then 19, grew paranoid that they were laughing at her, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Watson, who was intoxicated on alcohol and cannabis, marched over to the women and dragged Elizabeth down to the ground by her hair and started punching her, the court heard.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/woman-punches-bites-ear-manchester-25083176

A selection of recently added stories

Although the summer holidays for us teachers are nearly over, I’ve only just had time to update this site. Here are some of the stories I’ve added:

Man jailed for psychotic rampage in County Durham street

Northern Echo | 20th June 2021

The court heard that Hall had previously been sectioned and admitted himself to a mental health unit, but since his last hospital stay in 2002 had controlled his schizophrenia with a combination of antidepressants and anti-psychotic drugs.

However, in the lead up to the incidents he had stopped taking his tablets and began smoking cannabis.

https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/19384802.man-jailed-psychotic-rampage-county-durham-street/

Man, 33, dies in tragic fall after taking cannabis while celebrating his birthday

Manchester Evening News | 17th August 2021

A grieving girlfriend has paid tribute to her former partner, an RAF veteran and A&E nurse, who died on his 33rd birthday.

Julian Garvey Vines Lewis passed away on August 16 last year in Salford Royal Hospital from an ‘unsurvivable’ head wound after falling from his flat window.

At an inquest into his death, a coroner ruled he sustained the injury in a ‘psychotic or delusional episode from the consumption of cannabis’ he had taken on a night out with friends celebrating his birthday.

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/girlfriends-beautiful-tribute-remarkable-man-21300631

Teen convicted of Roberts Buncis’ murder, facing life sentence

The Lincolnite | 5th July 2021

A 15-year-old boy who tried to decapitate a 12-year-old during a ferocious attack in which he stabbed the younger boy more than 70 times is facing a life sentence after a jury this afternoon (Mon) convicted him of murder.

During the savage attack the teenager attempted to cut off Roberts’ head and one of his hands. One of the blows caused the blade of the knife to snap with the tip left embedded in Roberts’ skull.

Vile rapist who gave young girls cannabis before horrific sexual attack sobs as he’s jailed

Daily Record | 28th May 2021

A man who plied two teenage girls with cannabis before sexually assaulting one and raping another sobbed as he was led away by a prison officer.

Daniel Guymer 33, targeted his first victim in November 2017 after he met her in Pearson Park, that summer, Hull Live reported…

The court heard Guymer was interviewed about the first incident and told police at the time he smoked 4g of cannabis and would share with his brother and friends but denied supplying the class B drug.

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/sexual-assault-cannabis-drugs-court-24203982

Filed under ‘Rape, paedophilia and sexual violence’.

‘NO REGARD’ 

Mercedes driver high on cocaine and cannabis slammed into boy, 6, at 60mph and ‘didn’t care if he was alive or dead’

The Sun | 27th May 2021

A MERCEDES driver who slammed into a six-year-old boy while high on cocaine and cannabis “didn’t care if he was dead or alive,” a court heard.

Harry Summersgill, 24, left Noah Herring with a bleed on the brain after smashing into him – and a bus stop – at 60mph.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/15091446/driver-jailed-cocaine-crash-boy/

Filed under ‘Drug driving’.

Horatio Clare: ‘My psychosis was brought on by cannabis’

 Evening Standard | 4th March 2021

“I will never smoke it again. Strong cannabis is a destroyer of mental health and of lives, and the earlier you smoke it, the more damage it does. Prohibition means the substance is stronger, so what’s available, particularly to young people, can be lethal. The national conversation should move away from ‘cannabis is probably harmless’ to ‘it very likely isn’t, and the harm it does is catastrophic’.

“We need to be much more open about that,” he says. “I can also say with absolutely certainty that I haven’t met anybody who’s been sectioned – and I’ve met a great many – who didn’t have a relationship with cannabis. You don’t know until it destroys everything, that you’re the person who it’s going to destroy.”

https://www.standard.co.uk/culture/books/horatio-clare-writer-cannabis-psychosis-mental-health-b921442.html

Filed under ‘Suicide, attempted suicide and self harm’.