Paranoid schizophrenic Marc Carter jailed for killing of Gino Nelmes
A “DANGEROUS” paranoid schizophrenic who stabbed a man to death with a samurai sword must remain in custody indefinitely.
Marc Carter was living at a home for people with mental health needs in Filton Avenue, Horfield, when he stabbed fellow resident Gino Nelmes 18 times through the heart, liver and spleen, Bristol Crown Court heard.
The court heard Carter’s mental health was such that he thought people could read his mind, and though he appeared stable he could unexpectedly resort to lethal violence. He had a history of violent offences and mental health treatment.
Carter, 47, pleaded guilty to 32-year-old Mr Nelmes’ manslaughter in March last year on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
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The Recorder of Bristol His Honour Judge Neil Ford QC sentenced him via video link from Broadmoor secure hospital.
The judge imposed imprisonment for public protection, with a minimum term of 12 years before Carter can be considered for release.
He also directed that Carter remain at Broadmoor and must not be released from there without approval.
The judge said: “You will not be considered for release whilst it is their thought that you might represent a danger to the public.
“You will only be released when the authorities are satisfied that any such risk has evaporated.”
An external investigation is being conducted into the circumstances surrounding the death.
Carter had been an in-patient at Fromeside secure psychiatric unit in Fishponds until just a few days before the incident, the court heard.
The Filton Avenue home he was sent to live in was registered to Keystone Mental Health Services. It was deemed appropriate by those responsible for his care that he was “placed back in the community”.
Earlier Ian Pringle QC, prosecuting, said another resident raised the alarm at around 4.30pm on Saturday, March 17, only a short time after a Keystone director had visited the premises.
Everything was said to have been fine, with Carter having said hello to the director.
Mr Pringle said slash marks to Mr Nelmes’ hands and wrists were consistent with defensive injuries.
Emergency services were called, by which time Carter had already visited a friend in another part of the city and confessed to the killing.
At 6.15pm, he arrived at Trinity Road police station and told staff he had “just stabbed someone”.
“He told them the sword was in his bedroom,” said Mr Pringle. “A short samurai sword was found in his bedroom, blood-stained, with his fingerprints on the handle.”
Mr Pringle said there were no witnesses to the incident.
The court heard Carter had been a paranoid schizophrenic for “many years”, heard voices and reacted violently when he believed someone was “reading his mind”.
His previous convictions included several for violence, dating back to 1983, including GBH, ABH and wounding.
Psychiatrist Dr Alan Lillywhite believed Carter was suffering from a mental disorder and he needed to be detained in a high security hospital for treatment. Carter has been made the subject of a hospital order three times in the past.
Mr Nelmes’ adopted parents, Cheryl and Tony Nelmes, gave a statement on behalf of the family.
They said: “Gino was a loving, caring person whose smile was infectious. He had gone through a tough period in his life which we now know was due to mental health problems.
“Once these were diagnosed and he was given appropriate care and treatment he was able to turn his life around. In recent years, Gino was the happiest that we had ever seen him.”
The family said Mr Nelmes had a loving family who he adored, and a partner and two youngsters who he “absolutely” doted on.
They said: “He was taken away from us all in such tragic and horrendous circumstances in a completely unprovoked and senseless attack, and we therefore welcomed the investigation by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership and were shocked by the findings and some of the failings identified. We still await an external investigation report.”
Detective Inspector Edward Heath said: “This was a tragic and senseless killing of Gino Nelmes, a young man who had his own problems but was coping and living well in a supported environment. My thoughts this day are with the family and friends of Gino.”