A SCHIZOPHRENIC who wounded a man over a £100 debt has been committed to a mental health hospital for an indefinite period to protect the public
Ross Neilson (40) was made the subject of a stringent Section 41 order at Bournemouth Crown Court, having also head-butted a psychiatric nurse.
He appeared before the court in relation to an incident on 9th March last year when, armed with a knife in his back pocket, he went to the Lymington flat of Miles Filose.
Prosecutor Simon Jones said Neilson wanted to collect £100 he was owed by Mr Filose but an altercation broke out. They both sustained injuries and when officers got to the scene Mr Filose had a bandage around his head and an injury to his eye.
Mr Jones admitted the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) subsequently faced “evidential difficulties” as Mr Filose did not co-operate with the prosecution or provide police with a statement.
Neilson, who lived at Broadley Close, Pennington, was originally charged with wounding with intent using the knife – however, that matter was dropped by the CPS.
He also initially denied an alternative and less serious charge of unlawful wounding.
On the day of his trial Neilson changed his plea to guilty on the basis there was no evidence Mr Filose’s injuries were caused by the knife and both men sustained injuries in an altercation during which “blows were exchanged”.
In light of Ms Taylor’s absence that plea was accepted by the CPS.
The court heard that after being arrested and charged in relation to the wounding, Neilson was committed to a medium-level secure mental health unit and over the past eight months has undergone treatment, overseen by Dr Elliot Riordan-Eva.
Neilson, the court heard, had suffered mental health problems since he was 19, during which time he had been diagnosed with various disorders and spent several spells in hospitals – his condition not being helped by drug use and excessive alcohol intake.
Dr Riordan-Eva said Neilson had “significant” mental health problems and he had diagnosed him as suffering hebephrenic schizophrenia.
During his time on the ward Neilson’s mental health had “deteriorated” when he was only on oral medication, Dr Riordan-Eva explained. In July nurses were getting ready to inject Neilson when he head-butted a medic.
Dr Riordan-Eva said Neilson’s attitude was concerning as he had also showed “little insight” into his offending or the impact of drugs and alcohol.
He recommended Neilson be detained under a Section 41 order. It means he would have to convince a mental health tribunal he was fit to be released, he would be closely monitored afterwards and could be recalled to a psychiatric unit for treatment.
The court heard Neilson had a long history of offending including intimidating a witness or juror as well as affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He had also been given a hospital order for violence six years ago.
Defence barrister Nick Robinson warned a Section 41 order could lose Neilson his council accommodation, and accused Dr Riordan-Eva of placing “too great a weight” on his client’s criminal history.
Siding with the recommendation of Dr Riordan-Eva, Judge Brian Forster told Ross Neilson: “Unfortunately you have been troubled by mental health illnesses for many years.”
He said: “Having regard to the background, your present mental health and your limited insight I am driven to the view there is a risk of further offences.
“I find it necessary for the protection of the public from serious harm to make a restricted order under Section 41.
“Given no one can say when there will be a marked improvement or a difference in the nature of your illness, I make that order without limit of time.”
This article was amended on 4th March 2020 up clarify a reference to a witness.