Probe after man killed best friend
Killer walked free from psychiatric unit two days before attack
A man who killed his best friend in Broughty Ferry because he believed he was the devil walked free from a psychiatric hospital just two days before the brutal attack.
David Reid told friends and medical professionals demons were trying to harm him in the days leading up to the frenzied attack on October 20 last year. Mark Johnston died after being stabbed more than 120 times at a flat on Nursery Road.
A court heard his jugular vein had been “shredded” by a kitchen knife.
Two days earlier a consultant allowed Reid to discharge himself from hospital after ruling he was not ill enough to be detained for urgent treatment.
A probe is under way into the decision after judge Lady Rae questioned how Reid, who has now been detained in the State Hospital at Carstairs, was able to leave the psychiatric unit.
She said: “There are concerns.
“He’s allowed to leave and two days later this occurs. I’d have thought it should be investigated.”
A probe has been launched into how a patient was allowed to walk out of a psychiatric hospital two days before brutally killing his best friend – who he believed was the devil.
David Reid had told family members and professionals about his delusions that “demons” were trying to harm him in the days before he stabbed Mark Johnston more than 120 times in a bloodbath.
He was admitted to Royal Cornhill Hospital in Aberdeen but, despite the warnings, doctors decided the troubled 46-year-old was not ill enough to be detained for urgent treatment.
He phoned his sister less than 48 hours after being discharged to confess that he had stabbed his friend to death in his flat in Broughty Ferry.
Reid was acquitted of murder at the High Court in Livingston last week after the prosecution accepted that he was “not criminally responsible for his actions by reason of mental disorder”. The court heard he answered the door to police who arrived at his flat in Nursery Road, Broughty Ferry, on October 20 last year covered in blood.
Mr Johnston was lying dead in a large pool of blood on the living room floor.
Reid told police: “I feel terrible. The Devil told me I had two hours to stab him. I got a knife from the kitchen and sat there.
“He was my only friend. I can’t believe what I’ve done. I stabbed him. What will his family think?”
Reid warned a psychiatric nurse in Dundee that he was “receiving messages from God”.
A decision was taken to admit him to hospital and two NHS Tayside staff then escorted him in a taxi to Aberdeen because no psychiatric beds were available locally.
He was able to discharge himself shortly after admission after a consultant decided he did not meet the criteria for compulsory treatment. Two days later he killed his best friend. Judge Lady Rae questioned how Reid, who has now been detained in the State Hospital at Carstairs, Lanarkshire, had been able to leave the psychiatric unit in Aberdeen.
She said she expected the Crown Office to get a report from the local health board and hold a criminal investigation into the circumstances.
She said: “I don’t prejudge things, but a man who is sufficiently ill to be accompanied by two members of staff to a psychiatric hospital clearly has a history.”
Advocate depute Brian Robertson told the court: “The Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit (SFIU) will in due course receive a report from the NHS trust in relation to the decision made.
“My understanding of the position at present is that it is considered likely that there are criticisms about the actions taken.”
A spokesman for NHS Grampian said it could not discuss individual cases but confirmed it had carried out “adverse event reviews” into the case.
Mark Johnston, above, was stabbed to death by David Reid.