Man jailed for attacking his mum after smoking cannabis laced with Spice

Brian Holden
Brian Holden Credit: M.E.N syndication

A 'kind and gentle' man from Wigan attacked his 81-year-old mum with a knife after unwittingly using cannabis 'laced' with spice.

Brian Holden, 49, left his mother Brenda covered in blood, following the attack in the home they shared in Ashton-in-Makerfield.

Holden had told his mum he had met someone who was the 'messiah' who told him he was 'the devil' and that he had to kill her.

He apologised, left the room and returned with a knife.

Mrs Holden 'struggled' with her son and she suffered cuts to her neck and hands.

She was able to escape and knocked on a neighbour's door while 'covered in blood'.

Neighbours had heard 'loud screaming' from the house.

Holden, who has worked as a draughtsman for submarines, was holding a large fork and a knife and was Tasered by police.

Despite the shocking incident, his mother has forgiven him and wants him back home.

She has made a full recovery, and attended court to support her son as he received a 20 month jail term.

He is due to be released soon, after having already served the equivalent sentence while on remand.

Manchester Crown Court heard that Holden would 'occasionally indulge' in cannabis.

But it was accepted that the cannabis he used was likely 'laced' with a type of synthetic cannabinoid, such as Spice.

The court heard the drug had a 'wholly unexpected effect' on Holden, who was described as a vegan who 'abhors violence'.

He was originally accused of attempted murder, but later pleaded guilty to section 20 wounding.

Judge Hilary Manley said.

The court heard how Holden had come back from work to the house on Ashton Heath on August 26 last year, and seemed 'perfectly normal'.

He said he was going upstairs to bed, before coming down 10 minutes later and 'shaking' and 'crying', saying he was 'sorry'.

Holden said someone who was the 'messiah' had told him he was the 'devil' and that he 'had to kill his mum'.

He left the room but returned with a knife.

She struggled and fought him off, as he was 'trying to get her in the back of the neck', prosecutor Simon Blakebrough said.

Mrs Holden got out of the house and knocked on a neighbour's door.

She was taken to hospital and suffered two cuts to her neck, as well as to her hand and below her ear.

Holden was Tasered by police.

Later asked by a doctor why he attacked his mother, he said it was 'impossible to explain'.

Police found five bags of cannabis in his bedroom weighing 5.64g, and toxicology reports confirmed he had used cannabis.

Holden had only one previous conviction from 1997, for drink driving.

Defending, Philip Clemo described him as a 'king and gentle' person, who has volunteered for the Scouts.

"He is never going to take cannabis again, because he has just had the worst year of his life," Mr Clemo said.

There was a period while in prison on remand when Holden wasn't able to shower for a month, due to lockdown conditions, he said.

Mr Clemo said Holden would 'occasionally indulge' in cannabis, but that these drugs had an unexpected impact.

He said: "This was because normal cannabis, if I can call it that, had been laced with some form of synthetic cannabinoid, having a reaction which Mr Holden wouldn't have expected from taking ordinary cannabis."

Speaking of Holden's mother, describing her as 'commendably robust', Mr Clemo said she would have been a witness for the defence if the case went to trial.

"She makes it plain in summary, that she loves him and wants him to come home," he said.

The judge said Holden had been a 'hard working, law abiding man', and had 'never been the kind of person to be violent to anyone'.

Holden pleaded guilty to section 20 wounding and possessing cannabis.