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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 January, 2005, 15:48 GMT
Razor killer's hospital detention
Sean Oden Crone
A bloodied Crone handed himself in to police
A 26-year-old Sunderland man is to be detained indefinitely after pleading guilty on the grounds of diminished responsibility to killing two friends.

Sean Oden Crone stabbed 25-year-old Ian Lawson 24 times while Simon Richardson, 27, had his throat slashed, in attacks on the Redhouse estate in October 2003.

Crone was diagnosed a paranoid schizophrenic after he was sent to Rampton Hospital following his arrest.

One victim's family said the illness should have been picked up earlier.

Police cordon

Crone and his two victims had known each other since their school days in the Redhouse area of the city where all three were unemployed.

Sheffield Crown Court heard that Mr Lawson was found collapsed and dying, after suffering horrific multiple stab wounds, including one through his eye and into his brain.

As police were sealing off the crime scene, Crone went to see his best friend, Mr Richardson, who lived nearby.

Jeremy Goss QC, prosecuting, said Crone took a disposable razor to pieces in the bathroom and when the pair went outside he attacked his friend with one of the blades.

Rampton Hospital
Crone will be detained at Rampton Hospital

Mr Goss said: "In the front garden, Crone said he cut Simon Richardson's neck with the razor blade, pulled him over, kicked him in the head and cut his throat again, feeling 'as though he just had to do it'."

Crone then turned up at his family's house who persuaded him to turn himself in at the police cordon set up in the wake of the first killing.

There, he approached an officer with his arms outstretched, asking to be handcuffed and saying: "I don't know. I'm just covered in blood."

The court heard that Crone had symptoms of mental illness dating back to his teens when he took a "cocktail" of drugs.

He was also detained at a psychiatric hospital for two days as a teenager.

Drug taking

Judge John Milford on Wednesday ordered that Crone be detained indefinitely at Rampton Special Hospital.

He said: "Three psychiatrists all agree that at the time of these killings you were suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

"The killings have to be seen as products of that mental illness in the absence of any rational motives."

But Mr Richardson's sister, Louise, said she believed his illness was his own fault, caused by years of drug taking.

She demanded to know why Crone's mental illness had not been picked up earlier by health professionals, especially after the judge was told how his mother had pleaded with doctors for help in the week before the killings.

Mrs Crone had urged doctors to send him to a mental hospital due to his "paranoia and nervousness", at one point locking him in her house.

Miss Richardson said: "The mental health team have got a lot to answer for. If they'd locked him up before, these two people wouldn't have been dead now.

"He's been allowed to walk the streets and kill two people when he should have been locked away."


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