Hospital order for man who stabbed victim 38 times in Portsmouth attack

PCSO Steff Malone at the scene in Seagrove Road, Stamshaw.''Picture: Sarah Standing (131271-3781) ENGPPP00320131205000902
PCSO Steff Malone at the scene in Seagrove Road, Stamshaw.''Picture: Sarah Standing (131271-3781) ENGPPP00320131205000902

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A PARANOID schizophrenic who stabbed a man to death is to be detained in hospital indefinitely, a judge has ruled.

Marc Wells, 40, whose condition is resistant to medication, stabbed 31-year-old Keith Bevis 38 times with a butterfly knife at his first-floor flat in Seagrove Road, Portsmouth.

Mr Wells then called his father Raymond and said: ‘I’ve done it this time’.

Now judge Keith Cutler CBE has ordered that Wells should be detained indefinitely in a psychiatric hospital.

The order, made under section 37 of the Mental Health Act, with a restriction under section 41 of the same act, means any future decision to release Wells would need approval by the Secretary of State.

Consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Jim Ormsby, who was in charge of Mr Wells’ treatment, gave evidence during the hearing and recommended the hospital order.

Winchester Crown Court heard Wells is being treated with a higher than usual dose of medication due to the nature of his illness.

Dr Ormsby said: ‘He remains very unwell. He remains thought-disordered, difficult to understand, deluded and experiencing auditory hallucinations virtually all the time. The prognosis isn’t good.’

Mr Wells had been charged with murdering Mr Bevis, of Fawcett Road, Southsea.

However, Judge Cutler ordered that a jury should not find him guilty or not guilty of a criminal offence after Mr Wells was ruled unfit to plead at an earlier hearing.

Jurors were directed to decide whether Mr Wells ‘did the act’ of killing Mr Bevis during a trial of the facts.

The jury found that he did the act following a trial.

Mr Wells, who is in psychiatric unit, has not appeared in court due to his condition.

The court heard Mr Wells had called his dad at about 4.45pm on May 11, 2013 and said: ‘I’ve done it this time, I’ve actually stabbed someone 26 times and he’s dead on the floor in front of me and dead or dying.’

Raymond Wells advised his son to call police, which he did. Officers attended the flat and found Keith Bevis dead.

Mr Wells told police he had acted in self defence.

A post mortem examination later revealed Mr Bevis died of stab wounds.

Mr Wells had previously been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression, personality disorder and drug-induced psychosis. The psychiatrist recommended that he should be returned to hospital for treatment.

Making the hospital order, Judge Keith Cutler CBE described the case as ‘tragic’.

If Mr Wells was to ever recover sufficiently to be ruled fit to plead and stand trial, he could then be tried for Mr Bevis’ murder.