Schizophrenic killer of Tufnell Park man denied appeal

A paranoid schizophrenic killer who was jailed for stabbing a new father to death at a Tufnell Park Party had his bid to serve the rest of his sentence in a mental hospital rejected today.

Elliot Guy died after being knifed in the neck during an unprovoked attack in a bathroom at a house party in Junction Road, Tufnell Park, in July 2008.

Mr Guy was born and brough up in Kentish Town and lived there until he moved to Ealing with his girlfriend and new baby.

Colin Christopher Welsh, 43, from Finsbury Park, was jailed for life at the Old Bailey last year after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of 27-year-old Mr Guy who had become a father for the first time just weeks before.

However in December Welsh appealed against his life sentence arguing his mental health meant he should spend his sentence in a secure mental hospital, rather than a prison.

His lawyers argued that doctors there could force him to take his medication, giving increased protection to other people against his explosively violent ways.

Since he was incarcerated, he had been moved to a mental hospital, his lawyer, Kim Hollis QC, told Lord Justice Moses, Mr Justice Maddison and Judge Anthony Scott-Gall.

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Once his condition improved, under the terms of his life imprisonment sentence Welsh would then be removed from hospital to prison, she said.

Lord Justice Moses said that Miss Hollis presented a “dispiriting picture” of Welsh being transferred back and forth from prison throughout his sentence.

However he said the sentencing judge, the Common Serjeant, Judge Brian Barker, had been right to conclude that Welsh bore some responsibility for the killing, despite his undoubted illness.

He had taken a knife to the party, had numerous previous convictions for violence and had tried to evade justice for several days after the killing, he said.

“In the light of our conclusions as to this appellant’s propensity for violence, even before he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, and the gravity of the offence, we do not accept that public confidence in the resolution of this case will be maintained by making a hospital order, coupled with a restriction,” he said.

“We take the view that this appellant bears substantial responsibility for this most grievous of offences and that there is a risk that he will remain a source of danger, even if his condition substantially improves once he has received treatment and medication.”