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'Voices in head' told jailed man to murder prison officer, court told
A Southampton man is facing life in prison after attempting to murder a prison officer.
Samuel Hall admitted that he had “fashioned” a knife to stab a prison officer at Rochester young offenders’ institute, in Kent, after voices in his head told him to do it.
The 20-year-old, of International Way, Weston, has been warned that the “likely sentence is life imprisonment”, which would mean decades behind bars for Hall.
Prosecutor Edmund Burgess told Maidstone Crown Court that Hall had admitted that he fully intended to kill the prison officer and had planned the attack.
“He fashioned a knife for that precise purpose and then met with the prison officer,” said Mr Burgess.
He added: “He says his desire to kill the victim was partly driven by hearing a voice in his head, telling him to do it.”
But he said Hall thought the voices came from the prison officer and that by silencing him he would “silence the voices”.
It comes less than three years after Hall was jailed for holding a knife to a ten-year-old girl’s throat on a Southampton bus to force her sister to hand over her handbag.
He had been sitting behind the young girls, who had boarded the Shirley-bound bus near Central railway station, when he threatened them with the blade, demanding £20.
The pair, from Zimbabwe, began shouting, in the hope of attracting attention and Hall got off the bus in Shirley.
He was sentenced to three years at Southampton Crown Court in August 2009.
Hall must now wait to find out his fate after Judge Jeremy Carey insisted he wanted psychiatric and pre-sentence reports before deciding on the sentence, despite Hall’s counsel urging the judge to pass sentence immediately.
Defence barrister Mark Dacey told the judge that Hall had already spent a lengthy time “in custody and various institutions”
and that he had made it clear he would not co-operate with those compiling reports on him.
Judge Carey said that given the circumstances Hall might consider that the courts should have reports on him but he added that he could not force him to co-operate with those drawing up the reports.
He added: “I urge you for your own sake and for obvious reasons to co-operate with psychiatrists.
They will not be against you. It is up to you in the end.”