A judge has this morning (Friday) imposed a hospital order without limit of time on a drug-addict son who was commanded by “voices” to kill his own mother.
Andrew Martin’s attempt to murder his mum Olwen at her home in Todmorden only failed because the knife he used to try and stab her in the back snapped during the attack last September.
Yesterday Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC concluded that 32-year-old Martin was unfit to plead to the attempted murder charge, but after hearing evidence from his mother a jury at Bradford Crown Court decided that he had committed the acts alleged against him.
Martin, who had been living alone at a flat in York Street, Halifax, suffers from a schizoid-affected mental disorder which may have been exacerbated by his long-standing use of drugs including amphetamine.
Today Judge Durham Hall said he was deeply concerned about the serious risk of harm posed by Martin, who was not brought to court for the sentence hearing due to his current condition.
Consultant forsenic psychiatrist Dr John Kent confirmed that Martin, who is detained at a hospital unit near York, presented a serious risk of harm to the public due to the symptoms of his condition which included commands to kill others.
The psychiatrist revealed that Martin had carried out a random attack on another in-patient while at the hospital.
Judge Durham Hall said the case was a mixture of shocking and deeply tragic components.
The court heard that Martin was a man of previous good character but the judge said his condition was wholly or in part the result of an intense and dedicated drug addicition.
“Taking drugs has been his sole focus for about 20 years,” said the judge.
He said Martin had made a very serious attempt to stab his mother in the back and she was was only saved because the “formidable” knife snapped.
Martin, who was supposed to take medication for his mental condition, told police that “voices” told him to murder his mum and Judge Durham Hall added:”This is a man, if released, who would more likely than not at some stage respond to his controlling voices and hurt or kill somebody.”
Mercifully Mrs Martin only suffered minor injuries to her shoulder blade and lower back, but after the attack her son said:”I tried to kill her but the ring of power stopped me.
“She has the ring of power. She bought my soul that’s how the ring was made.”
Later Martin said:”I’m very ill. I need medication..the voices told me to do it. The voices told me to murder her.”
Mrs Martin told the jury that she screamed for her husband’s help after being attacked by her son and he was able to get Martin into the living room of the home.
The court heard that Martin had been armed with two knives and his mum said she thought he was going to attack her with the second knife after the first one split.
A few days before the attack he turned up at his parents’ home with a bad finger injury and Mrs Martin told the court that her son had said the end of his finger had been cut off by someone who wanted money from him.
She said it was clear he had been through some kind of trauma and needed to stay with them.
On the day of the attack they had tried to discuss the possibility of her son being moved to the Todmorden area with a council officer, but Martin had become more agitated.
Mrs Martin said she was desperately worried about her son and later told him to “chill out” in his room because he was becoming very stressed.
She said he was saying strange things and it was later that afternoon when he came downstairs and told her he was going to murder her.