Teen who launched frenzied attack against 65-year-old given hospital order

Smith's bloodied fingerprints at the scene Credit: West Midlands Police

A teenager who attacked a 65-year-old man on his own doorstep in Dudley during a botched car robbery has been sentenced to an indefinite hospital order.

He will be placed in a secure unit after West Midlands Police traced him from bloodied fingerprints found at the scene.

Tommy Smith left Peter Churm, from Owen Street in Kates Hill, with multiple stab wounds to the back of his head and neck following the assault on 24 February last year.

At one stage the handle of a kitchen knife used by Smith - who was just 17 at the time - snapped off due to the frenzied nature of the attack.

Smith’s attempt to steal a Range Rover parked on the driveway was foiled as Mr Churm bravely fought back and he later fled when the man’s son emerged from the house.

Forensics experts found a partial fingerprint in blood when examining the porch of the house that returned a hit to Smith - a youth well known to local police having clocked up 57 offences as a teenager.

Smith was detained in February 2015, he refused to answer questions during police interview and denied attempted murder on the grounds of insanity.

A jury at Wolverhampton Crown Court deemed he was responsible for his actions and found him guilty of wounding and burglary.

He was detained indefinitely at a secure hospital with an additional restriction order meaning that he can only ever be released if a Mental Health Tribunal deemed him no longer to be a danger to the public.

A statement issued on behalf of Mr Churm’s family said the attack had left him physically and mentally scarred.