Cambrian News photographer - Swansea Crown Court

AN Aberystwyth man suffering from a mental illness exploded in violence and attacked three men, a court heard.

Cambrian News reported “Tim Beckett, 32, later told police he believed at the time he could attack anyone he wanted to “because Aberystwyth is full of paedophiles”.

Beckett admitted causing grievous bodily harm to Mark Jones with intent, unlawfully wounding James Rowan with intent and assaulting Andrew Bradley, causing him actual bodily harm.

Brian Simpson, prosecuting, said on 3 October last year all four men had rooms at 32 Marine Terrace.

Beckett burst into Mr Bradley’s room and punched him several times to his head before picking up a stool and hitting him twice with it.

Mr Rowan heard the commotion and went to investigate but Beckett swore at him and he left the landing. Beckett then hit the back of his head causing him to fall down the stairs.

Mark Jones emerged from his room and Beckett hit him over the head with a crowbar.

Mr Bradley tried to intervene but Beckett spat at him, tried to gouge his eyes out and grabbed him by the throat. Beckett returned to his own room but warned Mr Bradley not to pass his door or he would get a knife.

Mr Simpson said that after his arrest Beckett told police he thought his victims were paedophiles, which they were not, and that he was not doing anything wrong in attacking them.

Mr Simpson said it was clear Beckett was suffering from a mental illness and police were not able to interview him for a month.

He then said he believed he had had “a free run to do anything he liked”.

But he was now sorry and was glad that no-one died.

Judge Geraint Walters sitting at Swansea Crown Court considered two reports by psychiatrists who said Beckett was suffering from a long-standing mental illness which was treatable, but was not detailed in open court.

Judge Walters issued two orders under the Mental Health Act, one requiring him to receive treatment and the other confining him to a secure mental institution until doctors believed it would be safe to release him back into the community. He said Beckett’s culpability was “largely reduced” because of his illness, and if not for that a nine-year jail sentence would have been appropriate.

“This was a frenzied, irrational attack on not one man, but three. It came out of nowhere and they must have been terrified,” he added” here.

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