Boy, 17, detained in hospital for ‘brutal’ killing with electric drill

A TEENAGER who brutally slashed and stabbed at a university academic with knives and a hammer before drilling into his head while the victim was still alive has beenindefinitely detained in hospital.

Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 6:10 pm

Winchester Crown Court heard the 17-year-old boy viciously attacked 54-year-old Dr Barry Hounsome in a ‘prolonged’ attack at the academic’s home in Gosport.

Defensive wounds were found on the university academic’s hands indicating he tried to flee and fight off his attacker.

The boy, who cannot be named, has been detained in hospital and can only be released if the secretary of state agrees.

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Police in Southcroft Road, Gosport.
Police in Southcroft Road, Gosport.

Sentencing, Mr Justice Neil Garnham said: ‘You killed him in the course of a vicious and ferocious attack. You first attacked him with a hammer repeatedly striking him about the head. You caused him multiple skull lacerations and fractures.’

Addressing the boy, who was 16 at the time, he said: ‘I have no doubt that at the time, and you still remain, highly dangerous.’

Even with medication the boy poses a risk to the public with a possibility of a relapse in time, the court heard.

The judge said he would have imposed a 37-month sentence if not for the treatment needed.

The court heard the boy ‘loner’ heard a ‘controlling’ Eastern European voice telling him to kill. During the academic asked ‘why?’ while the boy replied saying ‘sorry’ repeatedly in the prolonged attack.

Wearing a modified stab vest with plating and goggles masking his face the teenager launched the attack on Dr Hounsome, hitting the researcher in the head in his upstairs home office.

A struggle broke out with Dr Hounsome grabbing the knife and twisting it in a bid to escape but the boy then sprayed ammonia in the victim’s face. The struggle spilled out onto the upstairs landing as the boy pushed the academic down the stairs with a hammer.

The court heard the boy, who had previously killed and skinned animals, pulled Dr Hounsome back as the dementia and Parkinson's disease researcher desperately tried to flee out of the front door, knocked him over, then grabbed two drills and used them on his head.

The boy told police that the voice urged him to carry on so he retrieved a large kitchen knife and stabbed the victim in the head. When Dr Hounsome was dead the voice said ‘you’re done,’ the boy told police after his arrest.

Mr Justice Garnham said: ‘The idea of this man being at liberty, not in a hospital, fills me with horror.’

Prosecutor Kerry Maylin said Dr Hounsome, who worked at Bangor and Southampton universities, was left in black bin bags with a note apologising for the brutal killing penned by the teenager on top of the body.

Officers found a front door key under the victim’s body at the lecturer’s home in Southcroft Road, Gosport, on October 29 last year.

The first officer at the house after the teenager called 999 at 5.35pm said it was a ‘horrific blood-filled scene’. The boy was waiting for police outside Dr Hounsome’s home after failing in attempts to throw himself off Harbour Tower in Gosport.

‘He told the call handler he was sorry,’ Ms Maylin said, adding: ‘He wasn’t attacking me or anything, he didn’t do anything wrong.’

In a note the boy had written he had ‘done something terrible, it’s inexcusable’.

He added: ‘I tried to stop myself constantly but the voice kept pressuring me to. I’m extremely sorry to everyone affected by this.’

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denied murder but admitted manslaughter by diminished responsibility. Three psychiatrists have diagnosed him with psychosis and schizophrenia, the court heard.

Dr Simon Hill, a consultant psychiatrist, said the boy had auditory hallucinations. Dr Hill told the court: ‘He felt as if he was not in control of his body.’

The boy said the voice became more ‘aggressive and commanding’ in the lead up to the killing, and in the four months prior it had told him to ‘kill random people’.

Prosecutor Kerry Maylin told how the teenager called 999 some hours after the killing that took place between 9.22am and 12.05pm on October 29 last year.

William Mousley QC, mitigating, said: ‘The horrific nature of this frenzied killing... is shocking when it’s recounted months later.’

But he added the killing would not have happened if it were not for the defendant’s ill health. ‘There could not be a clearer case of remorse,’ Mr Mousley said.