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Teenage knife attacker 'was possessed by demon' during stabbing in which knife broke in two

A teenager who believed he was possessed by a demon left a 65-year-old man with life threatening injuries in a savage attack, a jury was told.


Peter Churm was knifed in the neck - narrowly missing a major artery - as well as around the head and in both the front and back of his body, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

Tommy Smith - then aged 17 - struck outside the home of the victim with an onslaught so ferocious that the weapon broke in two when Mr Churm refused to hand over the keys to his son's Range Rover, revealed Mr Malcolm Morse, prosecuting.

But the victim fought back, injuring the attacker whose blood was later discovered alongside that of Mr Churm near the porch of the house in Owen Street, Dudley, the court was told.

A bloody fingerprint of Smith was also found at the scene. He was living in Kates Hill near the home of the victim and had been seen in the area around the time of the stabbing by a local resident who knew him. He was arrested two days later when a bid to run away from police failed.

Mr Morse continued: "The defendant does not dispute that he is the person who inflicted these injuries." Smith had seen the Range Rover before, had 'taken a fancy' to the car and decided to steal it, it was claimed.

The defendant, who is now aged 18, later told psychiatrist Dr Jon Kennedy that he had seen a 'demon that came out of him' at the time of the offence on February 24 2015, the jury heard.

Dr Kennedy said in evidence: "He told me he had been pulled towards the victim, as if by a magnet, and ran with the knife held out in front of him and a voice echoing in his head.

"The defendant said he and the victim circled each other and he stabbed out towards the other man. He said he was scared and the only way to get past things was to kill the victim."

Smith had got the weapon from the kitchen of the address at which he was living and walked the short distance to the home of Mr Churm.

The teenager was a paranoid schizophrenic and the jury would have to decide if he knew what he was doing when the stabbing took place, concluded Mr Morse.

The defendant, of no fixed address, is accused of attempted murder, causing grievous bodily harm and burglary. He denies all the charges and the case continues.

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