Saturday, 22 September 2018

Mental health order for man who attacked jogger

Mental health order for man who attacked jogger

A PARANOID schizophrenic dressed in women’s tights and a leather jacket tried to strangle a female jogger he believed was David Cameron.

Callum McPhee was also carrying a sex aid at the time of the attack on the woman in Chalkhouse Green last summer.

His victim feared for her life and hid in nettles and brambles in order to escape, Oxford Crown Court heard.

McPhee, of Chalkhouse Green Lane, Kidmore End, was given an indefinite hospital order and will remain in a secure treatment facility until he can satisfy a tribunal of judges and doctors that he can be safely released.

He carried out the attack in Tanners Lane at about 8am on Saturday, July 23 last year.

Alan Blake, prosecuting, told the court on Thursday last week that the victim was out for a run when she noticed a man on a bicycle followed by another man on a skateboard with blue hair.

He said: “We now know the cyclist had noticed the skateboarder and he wondered whether to tell the runner but he did not.

“The victim turned around and took out her phone but then the man on the skateboard pulled her to the ground from behind.

“The victim was terrified. She described the hold as like a wrestling choke hold and she felt like she was going to suffocate. She thought she was going to be raped or killed.

“She put her hand between her attacker’s legs to try to grab his testicles but he shut his legs. He wasn’t saying anything but was making grunting noises.

“He released his grip for a second, then put his hands around her throat again and continued to choke her.

“So as a last resort she played dead and went completely limp. He let her go and she ran.

“She dived into a bush through brambles and nettles and pulled foliage over herself. Having done that, she realised she was stuck and vulnerable.

“She extricated herself from the bushes. She waved down a Land Rover, which took her to safety.”

The victim, who did not know McPhee, suffered injuries to her throat as well as scratches from the brambles.

McPhee was later found by police a few hundred yards from the scene hiding in some bushes.

Mr Blake said: “The officers ordered him to come out of the bush and he complied.

“As he came out, he repeated that he was sorry. He was found to be in possession of a red dildo and was wearing women’s clothing. A blue wig was found nearby.

“The woman’s mobile phone and headphones were also found nearby.”

The court heard that when McPhee was interviewed by police he said he had thought the woman was the former Conservative prime minister. A psychiatric assessment found that he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia which was complicated by chronic drug use.

The court heard how on the day of the attack McPhee had woken up very early at the house he shared with his mother and she heard him shouting “Shut up! Shut up!”.

He was dressed in a leather jacket, tights and a pink wig and he was known to own a blue wig. He ignored his mother when she suggested he changed.

Mr Blake said: “Callum McPhee had previous mental health difficulties from early 2015. Therapies had been offered but he did not engage with them.

“He was last seen by a psychiatrist at his mother’s home on July 5, 2017 and he was discharged. He did not show any symptoms of psychosis. The illness in early 2015 was related to drug use.”

Sukhjeet Lally, a consultant forensic psychologist, assessed McPhee in prison and decided he should be moved to Littlemore Mental Health Centre in Oxford.

He said he had diagnosed McPhee with paranoid schizophrenia.

Dr Lally said: “He has suffered from hallucinations, including hearing voices and feeling sensations that aren’t there.

“He also has thought disorder, which makes it difficult for him to keep his train of thought, and his speaking appears incoherent.”

He said McPhee was now being treated and should remain in a hospital setting and not be moved to a prison. The victim, who sat behind a security screen in court, recalled the attack in a statement that was read out by Mr Blake.

She said she went went for a run as it was a nice day and meant to go with a friend but they took too long so she went alone, a decision she would regret for the rest of her life.

She said: “I did not imagine for a moment I would be attacked in the area I grew up in.

“I couldn’t scream for help, I couldn’t breathe. I was desperately trying to pull at the arms and get away.”

She said that since the attack she had been having cognitive behavioural therapy and had been prescribed anti-depressants as she had had suicidal thoughts.

“I imagine he has been getting all the help he needs,” she said/

Richard Jory QC, for McPhee, said: “My client, through me, offers his sincere apologies to the victm.

“His actions were not directed at her but a result of his confused and disordered mind and he hopes she recovers fully.”

Judge Ian Pringle QC ordered McPhee to be returned to Littlemore, where he has been receiving treatment since February.

McPhee was initially charged with attempted murder and causing actual bodily harm, which he denied, and was due to stand trial earlier this year.

He later admitted attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent and his plea was accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service.

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