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Last Updated: Friday, 5 May 2006, 13:02 GMT 14:02 UK
Man admits killing pregnant woman
Benjamin Holiday
The judge said Benjamin Holiday was "clearly very disturbed"
A paranoid schizophrenic is to be detained in a secure hospital after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of a heavily pregnant woman in Hull.

Benjamin Holiday, 25, admitted the killing of Tina Stevenson, a mother of five who was pregnant with twins.

The 31-year-old was stabbed in Wellsted Street on 5 January 2005.

Hull Crown Court heard Holiday missed his medication the day before the killing. An external inquiry into his case will now be carried out.

Mr Justice Simon said Holiday, of Somerset Street, Hull, would not be released from Rampton Hospital without the "very careful consideration" of the Home Secretary or the Mental Health Authorities.

The court heard Holiday had initially walked past the young mother on Wellsted Street before turning and stabbing her in the back causing her to cry out: "Oh my babies."

There was no indication that he could pose a serious risk
Dr Douglas Gee, medical director

Her unborn twin boys could not be saved despite the efforts of medical staff.

Holiday, who was of previous good character, was arrested three days later at his home in Hull.

'Disturbed and dangerous'

The court heard Holiday had experienced problems with mental illness since August 2001.

In November 2004, he spent two weeks in a psychiatric secure unit in Hull but was assessed as being mentally fit and was discharged.

But the court was told he had always been unfit to be interviewed and was still suffering from paranoid schizophrenia with complex delusional belief.

After stabbing Miss Stevenson, Holiday returned to his home and apologised to his mother following a row the previous night.

Tina Stevenson
Tina Stevenson was walking home from an ante-natal class

She then took him to a community mental health centre where he received the medication he had missed the previous day.

The judge said he recognised Holiday was seriously mentally ill and had no recollection of the killing.

"You're clearly a very disturbed and potentially dangerous young man," he said.

"Your abnormality of mind substantially impaired your mental responsibility for the killing."

'External inquiry'

After the sentencing, Humber Mental Health Teaching NHS Trust said an independent external inquiry would be carried out.

Medical director Dr Douglas Gee said an internal inquiry had found no evidence that the tragedy could have been predicted or prevented.

"In the run up to this incident we were in regular contact with Mr Holiday and there was no indication that he could pose a serious risk," he said.

"He was being seen by us as an outpatient and did not meet national criteria in the Mental Health Act for detaining a patient."

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity SANE said the case showed, once again, how families had been let down by mental health services.

"In almost one in two cases in our own survey of 69 independent inquiries into homicides committed by people in contact with mental health services, the failure to take seriously the warnings and pleas of families was a major factor in the tragic outcome," she said.

"The Government continues to drive forward the policy of care in the community and a reduction in in-patient care.

"But while there are repeated failures to assess the risk a person poses to himself or others in the community, it is the families and the public who suffer."


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