Men­tal ill­ness con­trib­uted to killing of man

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By CHRIS SLATER @chriss­laterMEN

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

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