Bristol

Cleared Bristol man in cannabis warning over stabbings

Stanley Bailey outside Bristol Crown Court
Image caption Mr Bailey said he could not remember the attacks

A man who stabbed 11 people on a Bristol cycle path has been given a two-year supervision order by a judge.

Stanley Bailey, 55, of Barton Hill, was found not guilty by reason of insanity of the attacks with a Swiss army knife, at Bristol Crown Court in May.

The court had heard he had a long history of mental illness and was a heavy cannabis user.

After the case, Mr Bailey said he could not remember the stabbings and warned against using skunk cannabis.

Judge Simon Darwall-Smith made Mr Bailey the subject of a two-year supervision order at the court, which includes a condition that he must live at an address approved by the probation service.

He rejected placing Mr Bailey in a secure hospital or granting an absolute discharge.

On 11 May, a jury cleared Mr Bailey of 12 charges including wounding with intent, having an offensive weapon and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Speaking outside court after the judge's decision, Mr Bailey a father-of-five, said he could not remember the stabbings.

"For all the people who have got hurt, I'm very sorry but that's not me," he said.

"My advice would be, especially to the younger ones, keep away from this skunk cannabis. It's a very dangerous thing."

The attacks happened in Easton on 17 August last year.

Two police community support officers, members of a young family, cyclists and a police officer were among those stabbed.

Nobody suffered life-threatening injuries.

His family said, after the court case, they had tried repeatedly to have him detained under the Mental Health Act.

'Doubles the risk'

Professor Glyn Lewis, from the University of Bristol's psychiatry unit, said: "Cannabis users are much more likely to develop psychosis. Regular use doubles the risk of psychosis.

"What we can't be certain of is whether there's really a causal link between the two.

"It's possible that cannabis users, because of their other characteristics, have this increased risk of psychosis.

"But certainly the evidence is now strong enough that we think people should be warned that it's a possibility at least that cannabis does cause psychosis."

The Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Trust did not want to comment on the case.

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