Sussex

Brighton man killed over 'witch' belief

Gordon Stalker
Image caption Gordon Stalker had lived at the property in Brighton for 16 years

A paranoid schizophrenic has admitted killing a man he believed was a witch who had stolen his soul.

Gordon Stalker, 51, was found stabbed in the shared hallway of his home in Brighton in February.

Steven Dunne, 40, of Chates Farm Court, Brighton, pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Lewes Crown Court was told he had threatened to kill Mr Stalker and had been subject to a restraining order.

The court heard the pair, who had been neighbours in Elm Grove, initially became friends and often socialised together.

But that changed when Dunne began telling their landlady that Mr Stalker was trying cast a spell on him.

Lewes Crown Court was told he was arrested and charged with harassment in June 2009 after he called Mr Stalker a witch.

In November Dunne was made the subject of a restraining order and on 15 February he stabbed his former neighbour to death.

Det Ch Insp Trevor Bowles, of Sussex Police, said: "The court has heard that Steven Dunne believed that Gordon Stalker had stolen his soul by using a hair brush.

"That I think gives just a small insight into the really deranged mind of Steven Dunne."

A post-mortem examination found Mr Stalker died of multiple stab wounds to the chest and side of his body.

Mr Stalker, originally from Cumbria, had lived at the property for 16 years.

Dunne is due to be sentenced on Wednesday.

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