Man admits killing pensioner in Stafford hospital attack

A 32-year-old man has admitted to the manslaughter of a retired priest outside Stafford County Hospital.

Joseph David Phillips killed 82-year-old Oliver Kemp outside Stafford County Hospital
Joseph David Phillips killed 82-year-old Oliver Kemp outside Stafford County Hospital

Joseph David Phillips killed 82-year-old Oliver Kemp, who died six days after being fatally assaulted at the site off Weston Road, in Stafford, shortly before 8pm on February 17 last year.

Father Kemp, who lived in Stone, died in hospital on February 23 as a result of his injuries.

At a hearing at Stafford Crown Court on Thursday, Phillips, of Espleys Yard, Stafford, pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to Mr Kemp's manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.

Phillips had previously denied murder and a date was set for the trial last month, but this did not go ahead. An alternative charge of manslaughter has now been put to the defendant to which he has pleaded guilty.

The court was told that Phillips had shown evidence of mental illness before he went to the hospital and that the victim's family has been informed of the new charge.

Judge Kristina Montgomery QC told Phillips: "As you have heard, I will adjourn your case until September 6 when the court will pass sentence on you. Between now and then there will be evaluations to carry out by the psychiatrists.

"You must comply with their requests so that the reports can be completed on time."

The judge remanded Phillips into custody until then.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Cheryl Hannan, said: “This is a terribly sad case.

"In pleading to this, the defendant has taken responsibility for his actions. Our thoughts remain very much with the next of kin of Fr. Kemp.”

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