Balcony killer detained over brutal stabbing

A KILLER who stabbed a man to death and continued to attack his body in view of police and members of the public has been detained under the Mental Health Act.

By Tony Gardner
Friday, 7th March 2014, 6:00 am
Simon Stewart
Simon Stewart

Simon Stewart was made the subject of a hospital order yesterday over the brutal killing of Ryan Carruthers at his home in Normanton, near Wakefield.

Stewart, 22, stabbed Mr Carruthers, 31, repeated at the flat on Smirthwaite View in the early hours of April 14 last year following a late night drinking session.

Leeds Crown Court heard Stewart dialled 999 during the disturbance in which he stated he was going to stab someone.

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Officers arrived to find Stewart on the balcony of his flat standing over Mr Carruthers’s body and told them: “He’s dead.”

He continued to stab the body and threw items from the balcony including a bicycle. Firearms officers were used in a bid to get access into the property and the West Yorkshire Police helicopter was also deployed.

Stewart pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Doctors confirmed Stewart was suffering from chronic paranoid schizophrenia which caused him to feel under threat. The court heard he had been sleeping with a knife under his pillow.

Judge Guy Kearl, QC, ordered that Stewart be detained at New Lodge secure psychiatric unit for an indefinite period so he can continue to receive treatment for his condition.

Det Chief Inspector Simon Atkinson of West Yorkshire Police, said: “This was a horrific, brutal crime which was played out in full public view and in which emergency services were prevented by the suspect in gaining access to the victim who had suffered what sadly proved to be fatal injuries. Clearly Stewart is a dangerous individual and I am pleased he is now no longer poses a risk to the public.”