'Crossbow cannibal' sparks mental health review call

An MP in the constituency where serial killer Stephen Griffiths dumped body parts has called for a review of how people with personality disorders are dealt with.







Philip Davies said it was "extraordinary" how someone like Griffiths, who psychiatrists said had a long-standing and complex personality disorder, was considered safe to be allowed to live in the community.



The Conservative MP for Shipley was commenting the day after 40-year-old Griffiths was told he would spend the rest of his life in jail after admitting the murders of three prostitutes in Bradford.



Yesterday, Leeds Crown Court heard that Griffiths was known to the authorities and had a string of convictions for possessing weapons and for violence - including slashing a man across the face with a knife.



At one point he spent time at Rampton Special Hospital, in Nottinghamshire, to see whether he would benefit from medical treatment for his problems but it was decided he would not.



The court heard Griffiths had a "substantial history" of being assessed by psychiatrists but the experts said he was not suffering from a mental illness.



Griffiths who referred to himself as the "crossbow cannibal" after the method he used to kill one of his victims, was told he will never be released from prison after carrying out the "wicked and monstrous" crimes.



The former public schoolboy lured sex workers Suzanne Blamires, 36, Shelley Armitage, 31, and Susan Rushworth, 43, to his flat in Bradford where he used knives and power tools to butcher the women in his bath.



The court heard he boasted to police that he cooked body parts and ate some raw.



Mr Davies added: "It does seem extraordinary that someone with his profile was considered safe to be allowed in the community. There does seem to be an issue with regard to people with personality disorders. We need to look at how we deal with people with personality disorders, what treatment we give and what we do with them.



"I think we have to look at this issue again. Everyone is shocked by what he did and was has happened.



"It does seem a perverse situation in that we are waiting for people to commit a crime before we are prepared to do something with them."



Mr Davies said all aspects of "personality disorder in the criminal justice system" needed to be reviewed, including people in prison.



"What this case does show is the status quo is not working," he added.



Griffiths dumped Ms Blamires's dismembered body in the River Aire at Shipley, about five miles from his home in Thornton Road, Bradford.



Police divers eventually found 81 pieces of her.



But only a small fragment of Ms Armitage's body has ever been found.



No trace of Ms Rushworth has ever been found apart from blood splatterings in Griffiths's flat.







Detectives said they had no evidence to link Griffiths with any other unsolved murders or missing persons, but said the next stage of their inquiry was to explore any possible links and to talk to the serial killer.



The court heard how he had undergone psychiatric assessments since he was 17 years old, had a long-standing preoccupation with murder and idolised killers like the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe.



Griffiths even told a probation officer he would kill when aged in his 30s.



But a series of experts said that although he had a personality disorder he did not have a psychotic mental illness.



Griffiths was caught when a caretaker at the flats where he lived saw horrific CCTV footage of Ms Blamires's final moments in May this year. Griffiths shot her in the head with a crossbow.



When he was arrested Griffiths told police "I've killed loads" and claimed he had eaten some of Ms Blamires's flesh, adding: "That's part of the magic".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test