Daily Archives: August 17, 2013

UK – Court told of Corsock throat cutting attack

High Court in Glasgow

Prosecutors accepted that Hills was suffering from a mental disorder at the time of the attack

A court has heard how a former Royal Navy submariner cut his wife’s throat with a knife after thinking she was conspiring against him.

John Hills, 47, struck his spouse Karen during the attack at their home in the village of Corsock in April.

He faced a charge of assaulting her to the danger of her life.

However, a judge acquitted him at the High Court in Glasgow after prosecutors accepted Hills was suffering from a mental disorder at the time.


He said that if he had meant to kill her then he could do so”

Paul KearneyAdvocate depute

Hills – who has no previous convictions – will remain in the State Hospital at Carstairs before returning to the dock in November.

The court heard how he was working as a call handler for the ambulance service based in Nottingham at the time of the attack.

This required him to spend time away from the family home in Corsock near Castle Douglas.

He had previously been with the Royal Navy for 23 years and had also been employed as a beekeeper.

In the weeks before she was assaulted, Mrs Hills had concerns about her husband, who believed people in the village were spreading rumours about him.

He mentioned “silent phone calls” and claimed that during one he had heard the sound of a gun being drawn.

On the morning of the attack, Hills unexpectedly returned home from Nottingham in the early hours.

Mrs Hills was later making breakfast when her husband suddenly walked into the kitchen naked.

Prosecutor Paul Kearney told the court: “He then began accusing her of being behind all the silent phone calls and of being responsible for his workmates being hostile towards him.

“He was saying things like: ‘I know what you are doing’.”

State Hospital, Carstairs
Hills was ordered to remain in the State Hospital at Carstairs until a review hearing

Mr Kearney said Mrs Hills was “very afraid” before her husband suddenly grabbed her face and pushed her against a door.

She started to struggle for breath and began to panic.

Mrs Hills then spotted a knife in his hand and he used the weapon to strike her across the neck.

She managed to break free and grab a towel to stem the heavy bleeding.

Hills meantime sat down on a chair and demanded she “tell the truth”.

Mr Kearney went on: “He said that he knew she could hear him as the wounds she had were not deep enough.

“He said that if he had meant to kill her then he could do so.”

Mrs Hills eventually escaped to a neighbour’s house where an emergency call was made.

‘Profound impact’

Hills was later discovered by police at his house lying in blood with a wound to his arm.

He told a doctor that he and his wife had been having “issues” and that he suspected her of being involved in a “conspiracy” at home and at his work.

Mrs Hills was found by medics to have two deep wounds to her neck, which were potentially life-threatening. They have left her permanently scarred.

Advocate depute Mr Kearney said: “The impact upon her has, as might be expected, been profound.”

The court heard Hills was assessed by two consultant psychiatrists, who both concluded he was suffering from a delusional disorder at the time.

It was their opinion that, due to this, he did not “appreciate the nature and wrongfulness” of his conduct.

Source – BBC News

Judge Lord Doherty imposed an interim compulsion order for Hills to remain at Carstairs.

The case was continued until a review hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh on 4 November.

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Latest – Five bodies found in sunk submarine, survivors unlikely

Hopes of miracle fade, 4 bodies pulled out of INS Sindhurakshak

Hopes of miracle fade, 4 bodies pulled out of INS Sindhurakshak
The “severely disfigured” bodies of five sailors were recovered Friday from the submarine which sank here Wednesday with 18 men. The navy declared that finding any survivor was unlikely.

The five bodies were found by naval divers from the 2,300 tonne INS Sindhurakshak, which was recently refurbished in Russia and which suffered explosions and fire as it went down after Tuesday midnight.

“Efforts to trace and retrieve the other 13 bodies of sailors are underway on a war footing and we are hopeful of further recoveries by late this evening,” an official said.

These five were among the 15 sailors and three officers who got trapped in the submarine berthed at the Mumbai dock once disaster struck. Eight of the sailors were married.

The bodies were sent to the government-run Sir JJ Hospital for autopsy, DNA and other tests to ascertain their identity.

The search operation has slowed down as only one diver can work at a time owing to the cramped space inside the submarine.

Also, all equipment in the deep sea fighter vessel has shifted from theiroriginal location.

The navy said “the state of (the bodies) and conditions within the submarine leads to the firm conclusion that finding any surviving personnel is unlikely.

“The damage and destruction within the submarine around the control room area indicates that the feasibility of locating bodies of personnel in the forward part of the submarine is also very remote as the explosion and very high temperatures, which melted steel within, would have incinerated the bodies too,” the statement added.

The bodies extricated from the submarine “are severely disfigured and not identifiable due to severe burns”, the navy said, adding they have been sent to INHS Asvini, the naval hospital, for possible DNA identification.

This “is likely to take some more time”. It said the boiling waters inside the submarine prevented any entry till Wednesday noon.

“Access to the inner compartments of the submarine was made almost impossible due to jammed doors and hatches, distorted ladders, oily and muddy waters inside the submerged submarine resulting in total darkness and nil visibility … even with high-power underwater lamps.

“Distorted and twisted metal within very restricted space due extensive internal damage caused by the explosion further worsened conditions for the divers.

“This resulted in very slow and laboured progress,” the statement said.

After hours of “continuous diving effort in these conditions”, navy divers finally reached the second compartment behind the conning tower early Friday.

The navy said it was concentrating on reaching the interiors of the submarine to “locate and extricate any remaining bodies that may still be trapped within”.

“Salvage of the submarine would only be attempted thereafter for which many alternatives including deploying professional salvers are also being considered.

“However, presently, gaining access to the submarine and locating bodies is the top priority,” the navy said.

The heat of the explosion had melted parts of the internal hull deforming the submarine hatches, preventing access to different compartments.

Heavy duty pumps were used to pump out the seawater from the submarine.

The families of the 18 personnel were being provided regular updates.

The navy feels that some of the armaments inside the deep sea fighter vessel, stored on the rear side may be recovered undamaged as the flames did not completely gut that portion of the submarine.

Source – Times of India