Grandson killed anti-gun campaigner

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The Independent Online

The grandson of anti-gun campaigner Pat Regan was ordered to be detained indefinitely at a secure mental hospital today after he admitted killing her in a frenzied knife attack.

Rakeim Regan, 21, loved his grandmother and she doted on him but he developed severe paranoid schizophrenia which made him delusional, Leeds Crown Court heard..

Mrs Regan even asked for him to be returned home with her after he was taken to hospital the night before he attacked her in her flat in Leeds.

He had been taken to an accident and emergency unit after exhibiting bizarre behaviour.

Today Regan denied murder but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and this plea was accepted by the prosecution.

He also admitted wounding a railway manager with intent.

Judge Peter Collier QC heard that Mrs Regan suffered a series of stab wounds to her head and neck when her grandson attacked her in her home in Marlborough Grange, Leeds, on June 1 last year.

She was found with part of a broken knife embedded in her eye.

The court heard that Regan's mental health had deteriorated in the early part of the year.

In the days before the incident he had been arrested by police and after his release claimed officers had tried to rape him.

He also claimed aliens were trying to get him, and that "reptilians" were all over the place.

Jeremy Richardson QC, prosecuting, told the court that, as the defendant became more delusional, he claimed his grandmother was a paedophile.

He was taken to accident and emergency at St James Hospital, in Leeds, on the night before the attack.

Regan was assessed by a mental health nurse who weighed up whether to release him with medication or to detain him under the Mental Health Act.

But Mrs Regan asked for her grandson to come home with her.

Graham Hyland QC, defending, told the court: "It was Pat Regan's wish for him to come home with medication. Tragically that wish, born out of her love and concern for the welfare of her grandson, cost Pat Regan her life the following morning."

After sentencing, Judge Collier asked whether health professionals could learn lessons for the future from the way in which Regan was dealt with at the accident and emergency unit.

He stressed he was not seeking to criticise anyone's decisions and said "hindsight is a wonderful thing".

But he urged health trusts to examine situations where families ask for relatives suffering from mental illness not to be detained.

He added: "It's important to understand that those involved who made the decisions at the time were acting entirely properly."

Mrs Regan founded the Leeds branch of Mothers Against Violence, a voluntary organisation dedicated to offering support and education to those affected by violent crime.

Her motivation was the murder of her son Danny, who was gunned down on his doorstep in St Helens, Merseyside, in December 2002.

The judge heard the defendant was badly affected by this shooting.

He was told that this and a serious assault on him may have contributed to his mental health problems.

The judge also praised railway station manager David Clark, who was attacked by Regan at Leeds Station after he killed his grandmother.

The court heard Regan was found on the tracks at the station and he attacked Mr Clark, who was trying to stop him going back on to the rails.