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  1. ITV Report

Man convicted of murder for 'savage' knife attack on refugee

A paranoid schizophrenic who attacked his neighbour in a "savage and sustained" knife attack hours after being released from a psychiatric hospital has been convicted of murder.

Jeffrey Barry, 56, repeatedly stabbed 49-year-old Kamil Ahmad - who was a refugee - before removing his penis, in the attack at his flat in Bristol around 2am on July 6 last year.

Bristol Crown Court heard that Barry held a long-standing grudge against Iraqi-born Kurd Mr Ahmad and had called police weeks before, claiming he was a rapist, a paedophile and a terrorist in Iraq.

The court heard psychiatrists had opposed Barry's release, but a mental health tribunal ruled that he should be discharged.

Barry, who is being held in Broadmoor Hospital, denied murdering Mr Ahmad and instead admitted manslaughter by diminished responsibility.

But a jury unanimously convicted him of murder after two hours of deliberations at the end of the two-week trial.

Barry had lived at the Wells Road property, a multi-occupancy house for adults requiring support, for five years.

He was racist towards Mr Ahmad, who moved in about three years after him, and claimed he had sex with a fellow resident.

On May 24 last year, he told support workers he wanted to be notorious and murder a member of the public, allegedly adding: "Kamil would be top of my list."

Barry also wrote notes saying that he planned to kill people living in the house, including Mr Ahmed.

Note written by Jeffrey Barry Credit: Avon and Somerset Police
Note written by Jeffrey Barry Credit: Avon and Somerset Police
Note written by Jeffrey Barry Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

In a phone call to police on May 25 last year, Barry told an operator: "He has raped a vulnerable person.

"He has committed two acts of theft and he has broken a television. He is a paedophile and a terrorist in Iraq."

Barry relapsed after he stopped taking the drug clozapine in November 2015, due to it compromising his immune system.

He was known to be drinking heavily, smoking skunk cannabis and behaving in a sexually inappropriate manner.

On June 13 he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act after being filmed on CCTV performing a sex act, wearing only a police hat.

He was taken to Callington Road Hospital in Bristol before being transferred to the Cygnet Hospital Kewstoke in Weston-super-Mare.

A mental health tribunal ruled on June 28 that Barry was well enough to be released, after he promised not to drink or take drugs.

Barry was seen on CCTV entering a bar and leaving hours later Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

Consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Roger Thomas said the tribunal was unaware of how long Barry had been off clozapine.

They were also unaware of his recent relapse, or of concerns raised by staff at the Milestones Trust, which manages the Wells Road property.

The staff reported that Barry was becomingly increasingly obsessed with Mr Ahmad and was being sexually inappropriate.

Barry left the hospital on July 6 without a care plan in place, despite Dr Thomas recommending that he be detained for further assessment.

Staff at the Milestones Trust were not involved in the decision and were only informed of it a few hours before his return.

They attempted to get an injunction to protect Mr Ahmad but there was not enough time.

Iraqi-born 49-year-old Kamil Ahmad was a refugee Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

Barry returned to Bristol at about 5.30pm on July 6 and went to two bars, where he was seen with seven drinks.

At 1am on July 7, having returned to his flat, Barry called a helpline answered by community psychiatric nurse Joanne Wood.

"He said something about he didn't want to go to bed and he felt like punching somebody," Ms Wood told the court.

"I said it was not acceptable to hit people because you feel like it, and to be responsible for your actions.

"He responded by saying that he was criminally insane and not responsible for his actions, and ended the call."

Ms Wood said she spoke to colleagues before calling police on 101 to report what Barry had told her.

  • Barry was caught on CCTV entering his victim's flat

CCTV images showed Barry knocking on Mr Ahmad's door at 1.30am and leaving, covered in blood, at 2.15am.

Officers arrived after Barry called 999, saying that he had killed Mr Ahmad.

During the call Barry said: "Course it's murder isn't it? I'm going to say diminished responsibility."

The day after the murder, police discovered a note in Barry's room saying: "The fact is, I have acted out my entire psychiatric history. I'm very well. Sorry."

Home Office pathologist Dr Amanda Jeffery examined Mr Ahmad's body and found injuries to his face, head and neck.

There were 25 stab wounds to his face, including his eyes, and fatal stab wounds to his stomach, right arm and left wrist.

She found Mr Ahmad's penis had been cut off after his death.

In December 2013 Mr Ahmad suffered facial injuries after being allegedly attacked by Barry. No further action was taken.

Mr Ahmad also reported to police feeling scared of the defendant, in April last year.

Mrs Justice May told the jury: "Notwithstanding the verdict, there are issues of illness here.

"Mr Barry is in Broadmoor for a reason. He is there because he has a mental illness.

"It wasn't one that was enough to reduce the offence in this case but it exists all the same. It is a chronic, enduring mental illness that requires treatment."