Page last updated at 14:54 GMT, Monday, 27 July 2009 15:54 UK

Killer chopped off victim's head

Patrick McGee
Patrick McGee was stabbed when he answered the door of his home

A man who hacked off the head of his neighbour and put it in a wheelie bin has been detained indefinitely.

Eric Cruz, 32, who has schizophrenia, had a delusional belief Patrick McGee, 63, of Crumpsall, Manchester, was planning to kill his 17-month-old son.

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

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

The court was told a neighbour claimed he heard the repeated chanting of "voodoo, voodoo, voodoo" from the Cruz household in the hours leading up to the attack.

For a kind and gentle man to have his life ended in this way is really unspeakable
Judge Michael Henshall

Cruz stabbed Mr McGee 17 times when he answered the door of his home in December last year.

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

About 15 minutes later, warehouseman Cruz dialled 999 and 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".

'Wicked and irrational'

Judge Henshell said: "Patrick McGee had worked all his life. Everything I have heard about him gives me the clear impression he was a kind, gentle man. The perfect neighbour."

He said that Cruz 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," Judge Henshall said.

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

Keen churchgoer Cruz arrived in the UK from the Philippines in October 2005 and moved to Crumpsall with his family in May 2007.

Neighbours intervened earlier in the day on 15 December when Cruz punched Mr McGee, but the attack was not reported to police.

'Deepest regret'

Cruz later stabbed him 13 times in the chest, twice in the stomach and twice in the back.

When a police constable arrived, Cruz pointed to the wheelie bin and said: "It's me, I've done it. The head is in that bin."

Psychiatrist Dr Josanne Holloway told the court that, in her opinion, Cruz was a paranoid schizophrenic with paranoid delusions.

Muktar Hussain, representing Cruz, said: "He told me to express in open court his deepest regret to the deceased's family and friends."

Mr McGee's brother, John, said his death had "deeply affected" his family.

"I think of Patrick every day. The death has changed my whole view of life and I am sure I will never be the same," he said.



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