Page last updated at 16:32 GMT, Monday, 15 March 2010

Man killed months after fine for attack in London

Elliot Guy
Elliot Guy became a father 12 weeks before he was killed

A violent schizophrenic man killed a young father four months after being fined for a brutal attack on a fellow student, a court has heard.

Colin Welsh, 42, beat the first man so badly he needed facial reconstruction surgery, the Old Bailey heard.

Welsh later killed Elliot Guy, 27, by stabbing him in the neck in Tufnell Park, north London, in July 2008.

He has pleaded guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility and will be sentenced on Tuesday.

Welsh, of Tottenham, north London, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.

Judge Brian Barker, the Common Serjeant of London, adjourned sentencing until Tuesday to decide whether to give him a life term or order him to be detained in a psychiatric hospital.

'Appalling tragedy'

The Old Bailey heard Welsh, who studied philosophy at St Andrews from September 2005, appeared to be "a normal person who is educated and articulate".

However, he had a history of violence and drug-taking, with dozens of convictions dating back to the age of 15, including actual bodily harm, drugs offences and possession of knives.

He was also suffering from mental illness and heard voices he believed were coming from a transmitting device placed in his ear, the court was told.

Prosecutor QC Jonathan Laidlaw said fellow students who lived with him saw "extreme losses of temper and very frightening and intimidating behaviour".

Welsh attacked a student in 2006, leaving him needing reconstructive surgery to his face.

He was sentenced at Cupar Sheriff Court in March 2008 when he was fined £200 and ordered to pay his victim £300 compensation.

"The appalling tragedy of this case is that an entirely innocent man, for no rational reason, appears to have attracted the attention of a defendant who was both violent and in the throes of a mental illness," Mr Laidlaw said.

Mr Guy, a cabinet maker from Hanwell, west London, had become a father just 12 weeks before he was killed.

His partner Amy Smith described him in a victim impact statement as a "wonderful, warm, gentle and paternal man" who doted on daughter Eleanor.

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