Mental illness contributed to killing of man
THE killing of a popular labourer by a homeless man he had offered to help was ‘greatly attributable’ to his mental illness, a judge ruled.
Doctors diagnosed Ashley Bosson, who was convicted of the manslaughter of Phillip Owen, was suffering from schizophrenia.
The 42-year-old was stabbed to death by Bosson in his flat above a hair salon in Gloucester Road, Urmston, Trafford, on October 30 last year.
Bosson has now been sentenced to an indefinite hospital order, to treat his mental illness and to protect the public.
Manchester Crown Court heard Mr Owen had spent the night before his death drinking with friends in Urmston, before he saw Ashley Bosson, 25, who had been evicted from his flat.
They left the pub together, but an hour later Mr Owen sent a friend a chilling text message saying: “I helped this homeless person. Now he’s here. I’m scared.”
The following morning, at around 8am, Mr Owen’s neighbour heard him say ‘stop it’ three times in a ‘commanding tone,’ the court heard.
The neighbour did not hear Mr Owen’s voice again, but heard another voice - Bosson’s - talking about going to Liverpool and ‘singing rap’ from the bathroom.
Worried after not receiving a response to texts or calls, Mr Owen’s neighbour went to his house at 7pm and found him dead on the living room floor, with a plaster on his neck wound.
Bossons’ DNA was found on a top which had Mr Owen’s blood on it, Bosson’s semen was found on a tissue and Mr Owen’s blood was found on boxer shorts worn by Bosson.
The day after Bosson’s grandfather noticed he was ‘talking to himself, laughing like a hyena, acting as if he was possessed and unstable.’ Bosson later told his grandfather: “I’ve done something stupid grandad.”
He was arrested and admitted to hospital, where he has appeared via video link for the trial and sentencing. Prosecuting, Alaric Bassano said that Mr Owen’s friends and family have suffered ‘deep pain and devastation’ since his death. Defending, Adrian Farrow said Bosson, 25, of no fixed address, is responding to treatment and has told of his remorse. He said: “He has on a number of occasions recently expressed his sincere regret that his condition brought about the death of Phillip Owen.” Sentencing, Judge Patrick Field QC said he accepted that Bosson was suffering from serious mental illness when he killed Mr Owen. He said: “Phillip Owen was a hard-working man who enjoyed life and enjoyed the company of his friends. It’s clear that his death had caused not inconsiderable loss and hurt both to his family and his friends. It’s important to recognise that loss was the result of your criminal act.” Judge Patrick Field, QC
The body of Phillip Owen, 42, was found in his flat on Gloucester Road, Urmston