Devon

Exeter triple killing: Police warned of 'grave concerns'

Alexander Lewis-Ranwell Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Alexander Lewis-Ranwell has denied murdering three people

A mother whose son beat three elderly men to death had earlier warned police she had "grave concerns" about his release from custody, a court heard.

Alexander Lewis-Ranwell, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, was arrested twice in the two days before the fatal attacks.

The victims, twins Richard and Roger Carter, 84, and Anthony Payne, 80, were killed in Exeter on 10 February.

Mr Lewis-Ranwell denies the murders on the grounds of insanity.

He was first arrested on 8 February on suspicion of burglary at Lee Meadow farm and was remanded at Barnstaple police station, Exeter Crown Court heard.

Officers recorded Mr Lewis-Ranwell as behaving strangely, but released him despite his mother telling police she had "grave concerns should he be released".

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Mr Lewis-Ranwell denies the murders on grounds of insanity

The court heard Mr Lewis-Ranwell was arrested for a second time on suspicion of assaulting a man with a saw.

A police inspector noted that he posed "a serious risk to the public" and a doctor recommended that he was seen by a mental health nurse before being released.

Jurors were told Mr Lewis-Ranwell left custody without a mental health assessment because of difficulties in arranging the meeting.

Image copyright Crown Prosecution Service
Image caption Mr Lewis-Ranwell was released on bail at 09:30 on 10 February from Barnstaple police station

They were also shown footage of his release on 10 February, the morning on which he killed the three men.

The court previously heard Mr Lewis-Ranwell suffered from delusions and believed they were involved in a paedophile ring.

The trial continues.

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