Northern Ireland news

Man (27) who stabbed delivery driver 'was paranoid schizophrenic'

A 27-year-old man with severe mental health issues who repeatedly stabbed a delivery driver has been acquitted of murder

A 27-YEAR-OLD man who repeatedly stabbed a lorry driver in west Belfast because voices from his TV told him the man was burying dead bodies in the street has been acquitted of attempting murder him "by reason of insanity".

The man, who has been in and out of mental care for nearly seven years, later told doctors he believed if he did not "protect" his neighbours and stop the delivery driver he would be held responsible.

He also suggested that he was "set up" by people from TV series Stargate Atlantis who told him to do things.

The jury acquitted the man after hearing from two psychiatrists who said he was suffering from Paranoid Schizophrenia when he attacked and stabbed the driver with a 10-inch knife.

Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland is to make an order later this week for the man's continued detention at the Knockbracken Care Centre in east Belfast.

Belfast Crown Court heard that while making a delivery of cement in the Springfield Road area of west Belfast around dawn on September 26 2016 the driver was approached by a man shouting: "You're not delivering dead bodies on my street".

The man later stabbed the driver in the back of the head.

The driver managed to disarm the man before being helped by a passing motorist and a policeman who each spotted the attack.

The man told the policeman he was trying to kill the driver "because he was delivering dead bodies".

He later told consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Fred Browne that he thought the driver "was going to bury people" and it "was down to me to protect people".

Dr Browne revealed the man had his first 'psychotic episode' in May 2011.

The psychiatrist currently treating the man, Dr Richard Bunn, told the court his client's perception of reality and fantasy was blurred and that he was paranoid and delusional.

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