Hospital error freed man for killing spree

Saturday 06 January 1996 01:02


Crime Correspondent

Wayne Hutchinson was a paranoid schizophrenic who was released from hospital by mistake and went on to kill two people and wound three others in a six-day rampage, the Old Bailey was told.

Hutchinson, 21, who had a history of absconding and was described as extremely paranoid and aggressive, was allowed home leave from which he ran away and carried out the killing spree. He stabbed to death a stranger and shot a nightclub bouncer in south London.

He was convicted of manslaughter yesterday on the grounds of diminished responsibility after a jury cleared him of two charges of murder. He was also found guilty of wounding three people with intent and attempted murder. He will be sentenced later.

Hutchinson was convicted after a month-long trial held amid tight security after one witness was murdered and others threatened. The court was told a locum doctor at South Western Hospital, Brixton, mistakenly allowed Hutchinson four days home leave on 10 November 1994 from which he failed to return. Consultant psychiatrist Dr Robin Lawrence told Judge Peter Beaumont: "This was a mistake."

On Boxing Day 1994, Hutchinson went on a six-day spree of violence. He shot dead Anthony Kelman, 30, a doorman, outside a nightclub in Brixton. He also slashed a 17-year-old youth with a knife.

On New Year's Eve, Hutchinson stabbed three people in separate incidents. In the final attack he went into a late-night shop and stabbed Margaret Hatton, 41, in the heart, killing her. Hutchinson was arrested hours later after the shop owner, Tressel Foster, led police to his home. Mr Foster was later shot dead. Other witnesses in the case received death threats.

A man believed to be an associate of Hutchinson has been charged in relation to intimidating two witnesses. Hutchinson was a member of a violent gang called Posse 28 in Brixton.

Judge Beaumont told him he was considering either a life sentence or a hospital order without limit of time.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments