Mentally ill St Albans man stabs housemate as ‘a lesson’


Scales - Credit: Archant

A mentally ill man living in special accommodation stabbed another man 20 times in the house they shared in St Albans.

Richard Svagelj, 23, who, was living in Waverley Road when the attack occurred, was the subject of a hearing before Judge Andrew Bright at St Albans Crown Court last week.

He was made the subject of a hospital order and a restriction order was also imposed which means he will be detained in a secure hospital and only released back into the community when he is deemed to no longer pose a threat to the public.

The court heard how Svagelj was living in special accommodation in Waverley Road, St Albans, for people with mental and physical disabilities whre the occupants were supervised by staff..

On August 18, 2011, Svagelj carried out what was an unprovoked attack on another resident at the home.

Judge Bright said he was satisfied Svagelj had carried out the attack to teach the other man “a lesson” because of some wrong he had mistakingly perceived his victim to have done.

Following his arrest, Svagelj had been charged with wounding his victim intending to cause him grievous bodily harm.

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Later he was judged to be unfit to plead to the offence but the case went before a jury who decided he had carried out the attack

Svagelj is no longer in St Albans and is now a resident at a secure hospital in Bexhill-on-Sea where the court was told that since the beginning of the year his behaviour had improved.

But the view of those treating him was that he could still be prone to unpredictable behaviour.

Judge Bright said after hearing all the evidence that he was satisfied that Svagelj was suffering from a mental disorder which enabled him to make him the subject of a hospital order under section 37 of the Mental Health Act.

He will continue to receive treatment at the hospital in Bexhill-on Sea and in order to ensure the public are properly protected, Judge Bright also made Svagelj the subject of a section 41 restriction order under the Mental Health Act “without limit of time”.