Man 'hacked off his neighbour's head and put it in wheelie bin'

A “deeply religious” man hacked off the head of his next door neighbour and put it in a wheelie bin after he heard voices telling him to protect his toddler son, a court has heard.







Paranoid schizophrenic Eric Cruz, 32, launched the brutal assault because of his delusional belief that the neighbour was planning to kill his 17-month-old child.



The Philippines-born biology graduate thought he was on a “mission to protect children” and claimed saints would talk to him, Manchester Crown Court heard.



Another neighbour claimed he heard the repeated chanting of “voodoo, voodoo, voodoo” from the Cruz household in the hours leading up to the attack.



Patrick McGee, 63, was stabbed 17 times with severe force as he answered the door of his home in Crumpsall, Manchester, on the evening of 15 December last year.



Cruz then slashed at his neck and severed the head which he carried outside and placed in a bin in his neighbour's front garden.



Just 15 minutes later, warehouseman Cruz dialled 999 and calmly told the operator he had cut off the head of his neighbour.



The court was told Cruz misunderstood his neighbour's friendly nature as intrusiveness, which had “fed into his delusions”.



Sentencing him to an indefinite hospital order, Judge Michael Henshell said: “This is a tragic case.



“Patrick McGee had worked all his life. Everything I have heard about him gives me the impression he was a kind, gentle man. The perfect neighbour. He was welcoming to Eric Cruz and his family when they moved next door.



“Tragically, Eric Cruz suffered from a mental illness, apparently for some time. He heard voices. He had fixed and firm beliefs that voices were commanding him to do various things.



“He believed he had a mission to protect children and believed it was necessary for him to take the life of Patrick McGee to protect his own child.



“He was driven to that wicked and irrational act by the illness he suffers.



“The nature of that killing was so brutal that the effect on his family will last for the rest of their lives.



“For a kind and gentle man to have his life ended in this way is really unspeakable.”



Cruz, of Parkhill Avenue, admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.



His not guilty plea to murder was accepted by the Crown.

From The Belfast Telegraph

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable