Ex-prisoner Lee Byer avoids jail for Thomas O’Halloran stabbing | UK | News | EUROtoday

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A person who stabbed an 87-year-old to demise whereas he was using a mobility scooter in Greenford, London has been sentenced to an indefinite hospital order.

Ex-prisoner Lee Byer stabbed Thomas O’Halloran within the neck and chest in August 2022 simply 5 days after he was launched from jail.

The Hunger Games-obsessed man has been locked up indefinitely, however has averted jail, for the ‘mindless’ killing of pensioner Mr O’Halloran.

Byer, who had a string of convictions, was psychotic when he launched the assault on Mr O’Halloran. He later wrote repeatedly a few “Hunger Games” state of affairs during which he was required to satisfy “contestants” after which combat or assault, the Old Bailey was instructed.

He had been launched from Wormwood Scrubs simply 5 days earlier after serving 12 years for theft.

Prosecutor Gareth Patterson KC instructed the court docket: “Technically, he was on bail when he was released in August 2022, so these offences were committed while on bail. Some months later that allegation was discontinued.

“From accounts from his mother and brother, there was odd behaviour but at that stage the full nature and degree of his mental illness had not been diagnosed.”

The 45-year-old, of no mounted tackle, denied homicide however pleaded responsible to the lesser offence of manslaughter by diminished accountability and having an offensive weapon.

The pleas had been accepted by the prosecution after psychological well being studies discovered Byer was psychotic, listening to voices, affected by paranoid delusions and paranoid schizophrenia.

In a televised sentencing on Friday, Judge Mark Lucraft KC handed him a hospital order with restrictions. The choose stated it was a “senseless” and “savage” killing of a “much-loved” man with “no provocation and no rational motive”.

He famous considerations over Byer’s psychological well being had been raised in 2020 when there have been studies he was listening to voices and tried to take his personal life.

On behalf of the O’Halloran household, grandson Dennis Lintern, condemned Byer for his “horrendous act of cowardice”.

Mr Lintern described his grandfather as a “gentle, loving, man who spent his life working and helping everyone he could”.

He stated: “He was minding his own business doing what he loved, playing his accordion to make people smile and enjoy his music which he had done for many years.”

In mitigation, Satyanand Beharrylal KC stated that Byer displayed a “questionable reality” when he wrote his defence assertion in 2023 referencing the Hollywood collection a few violent dystopia.

Since then, he has expressed “regret” for what occurred and “apologises for it”, the defence lawyer stated.

Mr O’Halloran was initially from Co Clare in Ireland and was well-known within the Greenford neighborhood the place he busked to boost charity funds for Ukraine.

On the afternoon of August 16 2022, he was seen on CCTV footage waving from his mobility scooter as he headed dwelling along with his accordion and Ukraine assortment field.

Mr Patterson stated: “His path took him past this defendant, who was walking the streets in possession of a large knife. Mr O’Halloran, for his part, was unarmed and of course, at the age of 87, he in no way posed any kind of threat to anyone. Yet Tom O’Halloran was attacked and stabbed repeatedly by the defendant.”

Mr O’Halloran suffered two stab wounds to the guts, one to the again and three to the neck.

A younger man who occurred to be passing noticed Mr O’Halloran trundling ahead in his scooter earlier than he got here to a cease and slumped in his chair.

The sufferer was capable of inform the younger man that he had been stabbed. Police and paramedics rushed to the scene, however regardless of their finest efforts Mr O’Halloran bled to demise together with the highway.

Mr Patterson stated that cash within the sufferer’s charity assortment field and pockets had been untouched. Investigators discovered CCTV footage of Mr O’Halloran, a retired upkeep man, and Byer heading in direction of the passageway the place the assault occurred.

When Byer emerged from the passageway, he had a bread knife in his gloved hand. As he made his means again to his mom’s home, Byer was caught on digicam depositing a knife deal with in a drain.

Forensic evaluation discovered the sufferer’s blood on the deal with, though the blade was by no means discovered. CCTV photographs of the suspect had been launched within the media and Byer was recognized by jail officers. The gloves Byer wore in the course of the assault had been just like these issued to prisoners at Wormwood Scrubs which the defendant was identified to habitually put on.

After being arrested at his mom’s home on August 18, Byer instructed police: “I was in prison, I was in prison, so it is impossible what you are talking about.”

Receipts for garments worn by the defendant had been discovered at his dwelling in addition to a knife set with handles just like the one discovered within the drain.

The burnt stays of Byer’s yellow and blue trainers had been present in a hearth within the backyard. In police interviews, he denied being the suspect caught on CCTV and claimed it was a case of “mistaken identity”. Byer had 15 earlier convictions for 30 offences courting again to when he was aged 13.

They included a theft at a jeweller’s with hammers, provide of A medicine offences and having a prohibited firearm. He was later convicted of harassment, battery and breaching a restraining order, resulting in his recall to jail in 2020.

It meant that he needed to serve everything of his 2021 sentence of 12 years for theft and was launched on August 11 2022.