Blood-drinking son admits stabbing mum to death after claiming he’d ‘died for the Devil’

Gazette Live | 12 July 2019 |

The mother and son both had difficulties with drugs and mental health, his disorder seemingly brought on by cannabis and cocaine use in his teens.

A mentally ill man stabbed his own mother to death in their home.

Ian McKenzie, 34, killed his mother four to six days after he stopped taking potent anti-psychotic medication which kept him stable in the community.

The troubled son, who has paranoid schizophrenia, walked into Middlesbrough police station with a friend and confessed to the killing on March 20.

He said he attacked her after she refused to forgive him for stabbing her neck, and drinking her blood, when he was 16.

His mother Alison McKenzie, 55, suffered stab wounds to the head and neck, one of which severed the jugular vein, at their home in Berwick Hills, Middlesbrough.

The killer claimed he had took his own life by jumping off a bridge in front of a train the previous day, but had “come back to life”.

“He couldn’t understand why she’d not come back to life,” said prosecutor Nick Dry.

“He said he’d died for the devil, put his mother out of her misery and everybody in his head had been telling him to do it.”

The mother and son both had difficulties with drugs and mental health, his disorder seemingly brought on by cannabis and cocaine use in his teens.

He heard voices, had drug-induced delusional thoughts and was admitted to a mental health facility from 2006 to 2009.

By January this year he was thought to be stable and posing low risk, but stopped taking his medication and started having delusional and violent thoughts days before the killing.

He denied murder but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The Crown accepted his plea following unanimous agreement between three psychiatrists.

McKenzie, of Ingram Road, Berwick Hills, Middlesbrough, appeared at Teesside Crown Court via video link to the town’s Roseberry Park hospital.

Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, gave him a hospital order under the Mental Health Act.

He can only be released by agreement of the Home Secretary or a mental health review tribunal.

Psychiatrist Dr Christopher Green told the court: “I can’t see Mr McKenzie being released from hospital in the foreseeable future.”

https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/blood-drinking-son-admits-stabbing-16575724

Guilty of murder: Stephen Charlton convicted of strangling Middlesbrough mum

Gazette Live | 29 Apr 2019 |

“I wasn’t going to get tablets… I had cannabis.”

Natalie Saunders died following an “orgy of violence” during which she received over 50 separate blows to her body and 85 injuries, the trial heard.

Charlton, 24, of Finsbury Street, Gresham, Middlesbrough, had denied murdering her at her home in Tomlinson Way, Brambles Farm, Middlesbrough…

The prosecutor says the couple spent the day together on October 6. That evening they went to Grove Hill where cannabis and probably diazepam were bought… Stephen Charlton told him [clinical care assistant Stephen Bell] they had taken 10 diazepam tablets, he had been smoking weed since 8pm the previous evening as well as drinking vodka and bottles of lager…

Makepeace [prosecuting]: “How are you going to get your tablets?”
Charlton: “I wasn’t going to get tablets… I had cannabis”.’

https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/guilty-murder-stephen-charlton-convicted-16141926

Benefits Street star shouts at judge ‘that is absolutely sound’ as he’s jailed for murder

Manchester Evening News | 20 June 2019 |

Maxwell portrayed himself as a ‘King of Kids” who smoked a bong for breakfast, showed off his cannabis stash for the cameras and turned up late for court in the first episode of the controversial 2015 TV series.

Benefits Street star Neil Maxwell told a judge “that is absolutely sound” as he was today jailed for his part in a murder.

Maxwell, 40, from North Ormesby, Middlesbrough, has been sentenced for life with a minimum term of 30 years over the death of Lee Cooper.

Mr Cooper was brutally kicked, stamped on, stripped naked, slashed and bludgeoned to death in a “rampage of violence” shortly before Christmas, the court heard.

The victim, 43, suffered 114 injuries including multiple skull fractures, bleeding and swelling to the brain and 24 puncture wounds to his back.

Maxwell appeared in the dock alongside Luke Pearson, 19, from Parkfield, Stockton, who was also found guilty of Mr Cooper’s murder, reports Teesside Live.

Maxwell, who was thrust into the spotlight on Channel 4’s Benefits Street as a tattooed skinhead, had initially denied the murder of Mr Cooper, but dramatically changed his plea last week.

Pearson denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility but was found guilty by a jury on Monday. He was today jailed for life with a minimum term of 24 years.

Both will have time already spent on remand counted towards their sentence.

The pair received six years for a separate wounding charge, and 18 months for assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH) linked to violence carried out in the hours up to the murder. These sentences will be concurrent.

As Judge Ashurst explained the sentences, Maxwell shouted from the dock: “F*** licence, I will just do the 30 years, no problem. No problem.”

Maxwell continued: “That is absolutely sound, that will do me.”

There were shouts of “scumbag” from the public gallery as he was led away.

Earlier in court, Pearson shouted from the dock: “Just put me away for 30 years, f*** it.” as his previous convictions were listed.

Maxwell had also shouted from the dock following an impassioned victim statement from Mr Cooper’s sister Louise.

Turning to both men, she said: “Those two individuals who have sat in the dock and shown no remorse or regret.

“They’re not men, or even human. Not even animals are that sadistic and callous as they have shown to be through the brutal murder of Lee.”

She continued: “You both mutilated him into something that no person should ever have to see.”

Maxwell shouted: “I have shown remorse. Put me in jail for as long as you like, but don’t give this poor lad (pointing at Pearson) as long. I started it.”

Mr Cooper was attacked with weapons including hammers, a craft knife, a spiked knuckle-duster, a half-brick and a TV stand, the court was told.

The Crown said the eight-minute attack on December 23, 2018 was “the endgame of a simmering feud” after Mr Cooper was accused of an assault on the pair’s friend.

Meanwhile, Maxwell portrayed himself as a ‘King of Kids” who smoked a bong for breakfast, showed off his cannabis stash for the cameras and turned up late for court in the first episode of the controversial 2015 TV series.

In reality, he was a sadistic thug with a long history of violence who slashed victims across the back as a ‘warning’.

Both he and Pearson were filmed on police cameras after their arrest, with Maxwell bragging about the horrific murder.

The jury was shown disturbing footage in which Mr Cooper sustained horrific injuries, filmed by a nearby security camera.

The “feud” between the three men resulted in injuries to Mr Cooper, which an ex-Army doctor described as the worst he had ever seen despite four tours of Afghanistan.

Mr Cooper’s family said they had lost a ‘much loved son, brother and uncle’ to two men who tried to hide behind legislation to avoid a murder conviction.

“But the judge and jury saw through this,” they said.

Det Ch Insp Matt Murphy-King, of Cleveland Police, said Mr Cooper was victim of a sustained and brutal murder in the middle of a residential street.

“In my years as a detective I have never dealt with such a horrific incident,” he said.

“They have shown no remorse and have subjected Lee’s family to the horrific details of his death played out in open court.”

Maxwell had initially claimed he was in fear of serious violence which caused him to lose control. But that defence was denied him by the judge, and he admitted murder after the trial began.

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/uk-news/benefits-street-star-shouts-judge-16462893

Man killed friend in cannabis row

BBC News | 15 Sep 2006 |

Lord Brailsford said: “The stab wounds showed this was a frenzied and violent attack.”

A man who stabbed his friend to death after a row over a piece of cannabis has been jailed for life.

The body of Sean Steedman, 37, was found in his Edinburgh home in July after friends climbed up to his window and saw him lying in a pool of blood.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, Alexander Barclay, 45, admitted the murder of Mr Steedman.

The judge, Lord Brailsford, said Barclay must serve at least 12 years before he can apply for parole.

The victim had received a dozen stab wounds to his chest.

Lord Brailsford said: “The stab wounds showed this was a frenzied and violent attack.”

Murder fear

Advocate depute Angela Grahame, prosecuting, said both men had alcohol problems and used to drink together.

The court heard how Mr Steedman of Calder Drive, Edinburgh, was in Barclay’s flat in the same street, on 11 July, with others, drinking and smoking cannabis.

After a row about a piece of cannabis Barclay was left alone in his flat.

Ms Grahame said he arrived at his nephew’s home in the early hours of the morning and announced: “I have just murdered somebody.”

Barclay dumped the blood-stained clothing in a rubbish chute and threw his knife into the Union Canal but later that day broke down and told his girlfriend, Moira Meldrum, he thought he had murdered someone.

Anxious friends

She went to Mr Steedman’s home to find anxious friends were already trying to find out what had happened to him.

When Ms Meldrum brought the news back to Barclay he said: “Oh my God, what have I done? That’s my pal.”

He then handed himself in to police.

Solicitor advocate Ray Megson, defending, said Barclay was an alcoholic who also dabbled in amphetamine, heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis.

The lawyer said that on the day of the murder he had been drinking since 0900 BST and said the events of that day were still “a bit of a blur”.

He added that Barclay regarded Mr Steedman as one of his best friends.

Lord Brailsford said it was a warning to others to avoid abusing alcohol when it could lead to such events.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/5350298.stm

Killer’s chilling promise to victim

Southern Daily Echo | 19 Dec 2002 |

Stephanie Hancock was a teenager at school when she first set eyes on Philip Caswell – but little did she know that his cannabis addiction would eventually kill her.

“IF I can’t have you no-one will.”

That was the chilling promise made to Stephanie Hancock, 22, by her partner Philip Caswell, who yesterday admitted her murder.

She was strangled, battered and stabbed at her Hampshire home. Winchester Crown Court heard how Caswell, 31, was unable to accept their relationship had ended. Days before the murder he told a friend that he would “probably kill her”.

He fulfilled his promise on July 22 by murdering Stephanie as she slept at their home on Pegasus Close, Gosport.

The court also heard how Caswell suffered from a personality disorder because of a long-term dependence on cannabis.

In handing down a sentence of life imprisonment for murder, the judge, Mr Justice Poole, said: “You suffered abnormality of mind associated with cannabis abuse but it was not abnormal enough to impair your responsibility for carrying out the killing.”

STEPHANIE Hancock was a teenager at school when she first set eyes on Philip Caswell – but little did she know that his cannabis addiction would eventually kill her.

At the age of 15, while she was a pupil at Brune Park School, she first set eyes on the then 23-year-old and was smitten.

A year later, in 1994, Stephanie moved with her parents, Caroline and Steve, to Banbury in Oxfordshire – and Caswell followed.

Last year the couple returned to the Hampshire town where they first fell in love and set up home in a housing association flat in Pegasus Close, Gosport.

Neighbours described the pretty 22-year-old as a devoted mother. But all was not well in the couple’s seven-year relationship.

Stephanie confided in close friends she wanted Caswell to leave – but he would not go.

He told her that if he could not have her, no one would.

In the early hours of Monday, July 22, this year he kept to his promise by brutally killing her as she slept. Yesterday, a weeping Caswell, 31, pleaded guilty to murdering the Royal Naval officer’s daughter by strangling and battering her in their bedroom.

It emerged at Winchester Crown Court that Caswell’s cannabis addiction – he had smoked the drug every day since the age of 17 – had worsened his personality disorder.

Anthony Donne QC, prosecuting, said unemployed Caswell was unable to accept that his girlfriend wanted to end the relationship.

On the fateful day, Caswell punched her, smashed her head against the wall and strangled her with a cord.

He then went to the kitchen, got a knife and stabbed her four times in the back.

Mr Donne QC added that Caswell’s mother had described him as “very selfish” with a “foul and violent temper.”

He told the court that evidence showed a history of violence in the relationship.

Towards the end, Stephanie told Caswell she was going to end the relationship, but every time he started crying.

“She woke up and found the defendant looking down on her and snarling ‘I am going to kill you'”, said Mr Donne QC.

“About a week before the death the defendant and a close friend went out together for a bike ride.

“When they stopped the friend realised the defendant was crying and asked what was wrong. Caswell turned to him and said: ‘If I can’t have her no one will.’

“Asked what he meant by that the defendant said: ‘I will probably kill her.'”

A post-mortem examination revealed the cause of death was strangulation. Today Caswell is starting a life sentence for the gruesome murder.

Stephanie’s sister Shona Hancock, 20, who lives in Banbury, Oxfordshire, said the family was satisfied with the result of the court case although they realised Caswell could be free in little more than ten years.

Shona said: “We are glad it is all over and Stephanie can now rest in peace.”

Caswell also admitted assault causing grievous bodily harm on a boy who cannot be named for legal reasons. He denied the attempted murder of a girl, who also cannot be named.

Nick Atkinson, mitigating, said Caswell had smoked cannabis almost every day since he was 17.

He said the constant drug abuse had worsened an anti-social personality disorder.

“It continued to maintain him in an unreal cloud of existence,” said Mr Atkinson, who added that Caswell suffered from low self-esteem and poor coping skills.

Sentencing, the judge, Mr Justice Poole said: “She died of strangulation. Your reaction was that you felt relief and felt you had done her a favour. You had not done her a favour.

“You suffered abnormality of mind associated with cannabis abuse but it was not abnormal enough to impair your responsibility for carrying out the killing.”

The judge ordered a not-guilty plea to be entered on the attempted murder charge of the boy.

He said the similar charge against the girl should remain on file.

After the case neighbours spoke of their shock that something so awful could happen in their quiet cul-de-sac.

Telesales operator Greg Heaton, 17, who lived on the top floor of the block of flats had become a close friend with Caswell.

“I can’t believe what happened. I would not expect him to do that to his girlfriend.

“I remember I used to take their shopping in and spend evenings round his flat.

“They seemed to be getting on all right. Stephanie was a nice lady, always smiling. I’m sure she will be missed.”

Cara MacDowall, spokeswoman for the UK’s leading drugs charity Drugscope, said: “While the vast majority of cannabis users use the drug with no long-term detrimental effects it’s important to remember that for some, cannabis can be a harmful drug that can lead to panic attacks, paranoia and confused feelings.”

https://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/5600053.killers-chilling-promise-to-victim/

“People don’t just kill people in this brutal way without a reason.”

There is, sadly, little that is remarkable about this murder, ‘Radstock stab killer who faked 999 call jailed’: two ostensible friends who have smoked cannabis together for five years; late one evening one suddenly turns on the other, stabbing him 19 times and leaving him for dead in his (the victim’s) home, before hiding his clothes and concocting a series of red herrings in an unsuccessful bid to fool the police.

One thing did strike me, though. In summarising the view of the defence counsel, the judge told the jury, “The defence say that he [the defendant] was not involved in this at all. They say there is no motive for this. People don’t just kill people in this brutal way without a reason.”

There was a time when people indeed did not kill people in this brutal way without a reason. It was the time before cannabis had spread throughout Britain and much of the world like Japanese knotweed. Now, people do kill people in this brutal way without a reason, and will go on doing so.

Josh Price murder trial

Express & Star | 24 Nov 2016 |

A 27-year-old father of two stabbed his drug dealer through the heart after voices in his head told him to rob the man, a jury heard…

He said he was relying on a £10-a-day cannabis habit to resolve the mental problems and had been buying drugs from Mr Price for a couple of months before the stabbing which occured [sic] on September 27 2014.

The following month, David Watkins, then 27, was found guilty of the murder of Josh Price, and sentenced to life in prison: https://www.expressandstar.com/news/crime/2016/12/07/josh-price-murder-man-guilty-of-murdering-wolverhampton-father-after-drug-deal-went-wrong/

 

Teenager who bludgeoned OAP to death claimed he was “scared” of 8 stone victim

Liverpool Echo | 26 Feb 2018 |

Giving evidence for the first time today, he told a jury how he had smoked cannabis since the age of 11 and described himself as sometimes not sleeping for three nights due partly to drug abuse.

On 2 Mar 2018, the defendant, 17, was found guilty of murder. The following month, he was sentenced to life in prison and revealed to be Cameron Cruddace.

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/face-teen-who-murdered-oap-14585335

Two cannabis smokers murder young man in London

Here’s a good example of a news outlet failing to mention cannabis in a report of a conviction for murder.

Last month, two men were found guilty of shooting a 22-year-old man named Hashim Ali at point blank range as he was sitting in a car in Hayes. In both its report on the conviction (Hayes murder trial: How jury convicted two friends of shooting Hashim Ali to death) and, a week later, the sentencing (Hashim Ali’s murderers jailed for a minimum of 30 years each over fatal shooting in Hayes), My London failed to mention what it reported in some detail a week prior to the conviction, which is that the two men had smoked cannabis the day of the murder, but were disappointed in the quality (Friends accused of murdering Hashim Ali in Hayes blame each other for shooting him through the heart).

My London is not alone in this. Most news outlets in their reports of the conviction mention only ‘drug dealing’, failing, or refusing, to see that it is the effect of cannabis on the mind, not a desire to control the trade in it, that is a more significant factor in this act of cold-blooded murder. Such selective reporting, sadly, is common.

Xixi Bi Llandaff murder: Jordan Matthews jailed for life

BBC News | 21 Feb 2017 |

He accepted he was smoking “quite a lot” of cannabis at the time and the court heard he felt “insecure” when his girlfriend visited her family in China.

A jealous man who murdered his girlfriend after getting “paranoid” about her being unfaithful to him has been jailed for at least 18 years.

Xixi Bi, 24, died in hospital after the attack by Jordan Matthews, 24, at their flat in Llandaff, Cardiff, in August.

He was sentenced to life at Cardiff Crown Court on Tuesday and must serve at least 18 years after being found guilty by a jury last week.

Judge Nicola Davies said Matthews had relentlessly attacked Miss Bi.

The assault was the “tragic culmination” of a course of physical and verbal abuse over a number of months, Judge Davies said.

Her brother, Zexun Bi, said “the heart has been ripped out of our family”.

Barman Matthews admitted manslaughter but denied the murder of Miss Bi, a post-graduate student at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

She suffered 41 injuries as a result of the attack, including a broken jaw and ribs.

In a victim impact statement, her brother said his sister had been due to run their family’s multimillion-pound company and had the “whole world in front of her”.

“No sentence imposed will ever reflect the heartache and pain he has inflicted upon my family,” it read.

“Xixi will always be in our hearts, no matter how broken they are.”

During the trial, the court heard Matthews, who said he had a black belt in karate, regularly beat Miss Bi and called her “worthless”.

Matthews said he hit Miss Bi, believing she had cheated on him, and cried when he was later told she was dead.

He accepted he was smoking “quite a lot” of cannabis at the time and the court heard he felt “insecure” when his girlfriend visited her family in China.

He said he became “paranoid” about Miss Bi being unfaithful to him and believed she had received a message from someone called Ben on the Tinder dating app.

Miss Bi did not have the Tinder app or any contacts called Ben.

Christopher Henley QC, defending, said Matthews “misses her, he loved her, but he accepts that the way he treated her was atrocious”.

Judge Davies said: “Xixi provided you with a home, clothing, she bought a car for you. You took what she gave.

“You lied and lied again in order to attempt to exculpate yourself from the overwhelming evidence which was that during the early hours of August 19 2016 you relentlessly and remorselessly inflicted physical injury upon a defenceless young woman.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-39026270