A teenager who used a hammer, knives and an electric drill to kill Dr Barry Hounsome, a former researcher at Bangor University, has been detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act.
Dr Hounsome, 54, was found dead at his house in Gosport, Hampshire, last October and had suffered “catastrophic” head injuries as well as at least 35 stab wounds.
A 17-year-old boy, from Gosport, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Winchester Crown Court heard the teenager, who was 16 at the time, told police he hit his victim on the side of the head with a hammer before trying to stab him and spraying him with ammonia. The defendant told police he then went on to use drills during the attack.
Dr Hounsome died from multiple injuries to his head and torso after a “prolonged struggle”. His killer messaged a friend that day saying he had “done something terrible” after being “pressured” by a voice in his head which adopted the accent of an Eastern European man. He later called the police, saying voices had made him kill the lecturer.
Consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Simon Hill told the court the teenager had been suffering from “command auditory hallucinations” but had not told anyone.
“Nobody knew that this offence was about to happen or could see that his mental state had declined,” he said.
Passing sentence, Mr Justice Garnham told the teenager: “You remain highly dangerous. The idea of this man being at liberty, not in a hospital, fills me with horror.”
He ordered the teenager should be detained in a psychiatric hospital “without limitation of time” under the Mental Health Act.
Dr Hounsome, who had more recently worked at the University of Southampton, lectured in health science and has conducted research into diseases including Parkinson’s disease. His wife Natalia, is a lecturer in health economics and has worked at several universities in the UK.
A Bangor University spokesperson said: “He was a highly-respected researcher, an excellent PhD supervisor, and a well-liked member of staff, and is sadly missed by all his former colleagues at the university.”
Photo: Dr Barry Hounsome