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Scunthorpe hospital death: Killer cleared of murder charge

Exterior of hospital Image copyright Google
Image caption The victim and killer were being treated at the Great Oaks unit in Scunthorpe

A man who killed a fellow mental health patient has been found not guilty of murder.

Robert McNeill, 60, died at Great Oaks Hospital in Scunthorpe on 16 January.

Jamie Reed, 26, had admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, but denied a charge of murder.

Hull Crown Court heard Mr McNeill was left with multiple injuries to his face, head, back and neck after a "frenzied assault" by Reed.

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Psychiatrists giving evidence for the defence and prosecution had disagreed over whether Reed was displaying psychotic symptoms at the time of the attack.

Defence witness Dr Pablo Vandenabeele told the jury that he had examined Reed in prison after the killing.

'Tragic death'

He said Reed looked bewildered and made little sense when he spoke. The defendant told him he was carrying out God's work and that the world was going to end.

Dr Vandenabeele said: "It was my view he was harbouring paranoid delusional beliefs."

Prosecution witness, psychiatrist Dr Ramneesh Puri, had told the court that Reed had not been diagnosed with psychosis before he was admitted to the hospital.

Defence barrister Tim Roberts QC asked Dr Puri: "So this is not a case where someone with psychotic symptoms has gone into hospital, they've missed it and it's resulted in this tragic death?"

Dr Puri replied: "No."

Speaking after the hearing, Mr McNeill's partner Carl Richardson said: "The person Rob was has not been mentioned very much during this trial.

"Although he didn't have an easy life, Rob was a very generous, caring, and kind-hearted man. He was deeply loved and we miss him every single day."

Reed will be sentenced at a later date.

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