Paranoid schizophrenic who drowned angler at fishing lake is detained

Paranoid schizophrenic who drowned angler at members-only fishing lake after he wrongly believed he had assaulted his mother is detained indefinitely under Mental Health Act

  • Kevin Hodkinson, 50, was drowned in a Sheffield pond by Kevin Hayes, 33
  • Hayes, a paranoid schizophrenic, has been given an indefinite hospital order

A paranoid schizophrenic who drowned an angler at a members-only fishing lake while suffering a psychotic episode has been detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act. 

Kieran Hayes, 33, was caught by police running barefoot near Oxspring Dam, a private pond in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, on June 16 last year.

Divers had just pulled the body of father-of-three Kevin Hodkinson, 50, who once represented Great Britain in an angling contest, out from the water.

Mr Hodkinson had been reported missing after members noticed his equipment and car were abandoned.

Hayes – who hallucinated that the victim had attacked his mother – was charged with murder, but prosecutors accepted a guilty plea to the lesser charge of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Father-of-three Kevin Hodkinson, 50, was reported missing after members of a private fishing club in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, noticed his equipment and car were abandoned

Kieran Hayes (pictured), 33, drowned Mr Hodkinson while hallucinating – wrongly mistaking the father-of-three for a person he believed had attacked his mother

Hayes was given an indefinite hospital order at Sheffield Crown Court earlier this week.

The court heard Hayes, who lived near the fishery, had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

He began to hallucinate that Kevin was another person who he wrongly believed had assaulted his mother, the court was told.

He then pushed him into the lake and drowned him. Hayes was seen acting strangely by another man, who then called the police.

At a hearing on Friday, the Recorder of Sheffield Jeremy Richardson KC said Hayes remained a risk to the public.

The judge said: ‘This was an entirely deliberate act. But for the mental condition of the defendant this would have been a clear case of murder.

‘The conduct of the defendant amounted to an intention to kill the deceased.

‘It’s pertinent to note that the defendant, it appears, had taken crack cocaine at the relevant time.

‘There’s no doubt that he was in a delusional state as a result of paranoid schizophrenia.

Kevin Hodkinson (pictured), 50, was rushed from the pond off Herries Road in Shirecliffe to hospital by paramedics and died a short time later

 The scene at Oxspring Dam, a private pond in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, on June 16 last year

‘There can be no doubt whatsoever that the defendant will need life-long treatment.

‘In my judgement, there is really only one just conclusion in this case…that this defendant should be detained in a mental institution.

‘This is wholly likely to be a life-long order. Indeed, at present, I cannot envisage the circumstances when this man will be safe to release into the community.

‘The public should be, therefore, reassured that this highly dangerous man will be kept out of harm’s way.’

Kevin, who had represented Great Britain as a junior angler, was described by his heartbroken family as a devoted father, uncle and grandad.

Paying tribute to his ‘baby brother’, Mark Hodkinson said: ‘He was a quiet, personal person with a dry witty sense of humour and was incredibly kind and caring to his family and friends.

‘Those who knew him and were lucky enough to have him as a friend had the most loyal friend you can ever wish for.

Tributes were paid to Kevin by his family who say he was a ‘much loved’ son, father, grandfather, brother, partner, uncle and friend. Pictured: The scene after his death

Police divers recovered Mr Hodkinson’s body from the water in Oxpring Dam, after he was drowned by schizophrenic Kieran Hayes 

‘We all miss him dearly and will never again see his cheeky smile, hear his voice, share new memories and laughter, or enjoy his unwavering love, support and friendship he gave us.

‘He was caring, kind and outgoing to all who met him. We love and miss Kevin every day, from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep.’

Speaking after sentencing, detective chief inspector Emma Knight, of South Yorkshire Police, said: ‘Kevin Hodkinson was a skilled fisherman and had represented his country at a sport he loved.

‘His untimely death in such tragic circumstances has devastated his family and my thoughts are with them today following this court hearing.

‘Kieran Hayes has accepted responsibility for his actions in causing the death of another and has pleaded guilty to manslaughter, which has been accepted by the court.’

Hayes was given an indefinite hospital order under Section 37 and Section 41 of the Mental Health Act.

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