24th Oct, 2020

'Voices in head' led disturbed teen to brandish bayonet at Rugby college

Correspondent 1st Nov, 2016

A TEENAGER from Rugby suffering mental health problems wrote out a list of people he wanted to kill and armed himself with a bayonet before going to college where he pointed it at the neck of a fellow-student.

But fortunately Jack Haddon then heard ‘a click in his head’ and, suddenly realising what he was doing was wrong, handed the weapon to a teacher.

The 18 year-old of Southfield Road pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to charges of affray and possessing an offensive weapon.

After he had entered his pleas in June, the case was adjourned for psychiatric reports to be prepared on him.

At the resumed hearing prosecutor Ian Windridge said on Friday February 26 Haddon turned up at the Warwickshire College campus in Rugby, where he was a student, with a 24-inch bayonet.

Although it was only 8.15am, there were a number of other students at the college, and Haddon went to the cafeteria, knowing many of them would be there.
He pointed the bayonet at them, but then stopped and found a teacher to whom he handed the frightening weapon.

Haddon told the teacher: “I brought this in to use, I brought it in to hurt someone. I don’t want to; I’ve got voices in my head. I don’t know what I’m doing.”

The emergency services were contacted, and he was taken to a psychiatric unit in Coventry where, before he was seen, he wrote a note and handed it to the police. Haddon explained he had had ‘thoughts of killing and harming people,’ and had been having visions of killing someone.

His mother found a list he had written, and when she took it to him, he said it was a list of people he wanted to kill, and he was also thinking of killing himself.

The court heard two psychiatrists had recommended Haddon be made subject to a hospital order under the Mental Health Act. One said he thought Haddon suffered from Asperger’s Syndrome – which could result in a lack of empathy by sufferers, who ‘may have quite active fantasy lives, may have difficulty coping with stress, and may experience compulsive thoughts’.

The court heard Haddon had no history of alcohol or drug abuse which would make his problem worse.

His barrister Samantha Forsyth said: “Both he and his mother had been asking for help, but he’s one of those young men who slipped through the net.”

A hospital order under the Mental Health Act could only be made when a bed was available – and Judge Sylvia de Bertodano was told one had not been found for Haddon ‘at the moment.’

So she adjourned sentence until one become available, and remanded Haddon in custody until then.

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