Schizophrenic ‘poses high risk of harm’

Preston Crown Court in Preston city centre
Preston Crown Court in Preston city centre

A man who twice broke the terms of a restraining order regarding his ex-partner had paranoid schizophrenia, a court heard.

Jonathan Hill said strange things to his former girlfriend, speaking in an Irish accent and claiming to be a member of the IRA.

The following day, when he returned to her Fleetwood home, he again acted in a bizarre fashion, claiming to be a gangster from Salford.

Hill, 27, formerly of Whinfield Avenue, Fleetwood, has been made the subject of a hospital order, with a restriction order attached.

He had pleaded guilty to two offences of acting in breach of a restraining order, two of having a bladed article, plus one offence of possessing cannabis.

Three consultant forensic psychiatrists gave evidence to the judge at Preston Crown Court regarding Hill’s mental state.

He had two previous convictions for assaulting the woman. The couple had separated in 2013. A restraining order is in place until February next year.

Rebecca McGregor, prosecuting, said the defendant wandered into his ex-partner’s home on June 13 last year and began saying strange things.

The next day he returned and was again acting strangely. He claimed he was a gangster from Salford, and that he was going to burn a shop down. Hill was holding a large filleting knife. He was talking to the wall, said the prosecution.

Hill began to resist as police arrived and tried to arrest him. Pava spray was used to calm him down, and he was found to have a small amount of cannabis.

He would later admit to police that he took cannabis daily, using the drug as well as taking anti-depressants. On the date of the second incident, June 14, he had been drinking cider.

Hill has been in Guild Lodge psychiatric unit since early November. One of the psychiatrists giving evidence to the court said he had concluded that Hill has paranoid schizophrenia. The doctor felt he posed a high risk of serious harm to the public and suggested a restriction order be put in place, as well as a hospital order.

Daniel Harman, defending, submitted there was no need for a restriction order to be added to the hospital order.

While Hill had carried out low level violence in the past, there had been no serious violence, he said.

But Judge Graham Knowles said the most suitable method of disposing of the case was by making a hospital order. He felt the criteria was made out for a restriction order to be added to that.