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
Sport
wimbledonScot will face Ivo Karlovic next
Sport
football
News
Hillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
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