Teenager Admits Killing University Lecturer In Gosport

1 May 2019, 15:23 | Updated: 1 May 2019, 16:30

Winchester Crown Court

A 17-year-old boy killed a university lecturer with electric drills, knives and a hammer after following orders from voices in his head, a court heard.

Dr Barry Hounsome died while trying to escape the "sustained and prolonged attack" at his home in Southcroft Road in Gosport on October 29.

The 54-year-old academic, who previously worked at Southampton and Bangor universities, researched dementia and Parkinson's disease.

The teenage defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was due to stand trial for murder on Wednesday at Winchester Crown Court.

But the prosecution instead accepted a guilty plea to manslaughter by diminished responsibility.

Kerry Maylin, prosecuting, told the court: "This was a sustained and prolonged attack.

"He said voices in his head had been telling him to kill.

"The night before the incident the voice was telling him to kill someone and that morning, it was Barry."

The boy left a note at the house and made a video apologising for his actions, later telling the police he first hit Mr Hounsome with a hammer, before stabbing him with knives, spraying him with ammonia and attacking him with a drill, Ms Maylin said.

During the attack Mr Hounsome - who lived with his Russian wife Natalia, a senior lecturer in global health economics at Brighton and Sussex Medical School - tried to escape but the boy "pulled him back and forced him to the floor", the court heard.

Mr Hounsome had several defensive wounds and his front door key was found underneath his body.

Ms Maylin said the boy said he started hearing voices about a year before but never told anyone about it.

Over time the voices - which adopted the accent of an Eastern European man - became "more manic, aggressive and demanding", escalating from telling him to kill animals to carrying out attacks on random people, the court heard.

She told the court the boy said: "Something in my head kept telling me to do it. I didn't want to do it.

"I tried to push myself away but I ended up doing it. I'm so sorry."

He has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and is thought to have experienced a psychotic episode just before the attack, the court heard.

Mr Justice Neil Garnham said that when sentencing the defendant, he would take into account the "inevitable suffering" endured by the victim.

The court was told his family would not be making a victim impact statement and wanted their feelings about the attack to remain private.

The boy was given an indefinite hospital order with restrictions.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Superintendent Mandy Horsburgh, said: 

“This was an incredibly distressing case for the family of Mr Hounsome, and I would like to commend them for the dignity and strength they have shown throughout this investigation.

“Mr Hounsome’s life was taken in the most horrific way, and I hope the conclusion of the case now allows the family some degree of comfort, and allows the time and space for them to come to terms with the loss of Barry and continue with the healing process.

“I would also like to thank the officers and staff involved in this investigation for their professionalism and tireless work in bringing this difficult case to a swift conclusion.”