Brown Clee Hill: Killer 'not acting randomly or in a frenzy'

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image copyrightFamily handout
image captionRichard Hall was from Perton in Staffordshire

A man was not "acting randomly or in a frenzy" on the day he stabbed a stranger to death on a hill top, a forensic psychiatrist has told a court.

Moses Christensen fatally knifed Richard Hall, 70, on Brown Clee Hill, Shropshire, on 13 August.

Dr Suraj Shenoy told Stafford Crown Court he did not accept evidence from other psychiatrists the 22-year-old was suffering from a psychotic breakdown.

"He knew exactly what he was doing at the time," the expert witness added.

Mr Christensen, who is detained under the Mental Health Act, denies murder by reason of diminished responsibility.

Dr Shenoy said the defendant, of Corser Street, Stourbridge, West Midlands, had been thinking about killing someone for a number of weeks.

"He formed his intent. He formed a clear plan and he acted out that plan," he said.

Jurors previously heard from an expert psychiatrist who said Mr Christensen had "lost touch with reality".

But Dr Shenoy told jurors he could not find "concrete evidence" of this in clips from body-worn camera footage from officers who detained him

image copyrightHelen Tipper
image captionMoses Christensen denies murder by reason of diminished responsibility

Claiming mental illness had not directly influenced Christensen's behaviour on the day of the killing, he said he was "acting rationally and he is not acting impulsively".

"He did take care not to alarm Mr Hall - he hid the knife so as to have an element of surprise. He was not acting randomly or in a frenzy."

The consultant psychiatrist also told the court he believed the defendant had "some autism traits".

Under cross-examination, he rejected an assertion it was clear Mr Christensen was suffering from psychosis in the days leading up to the killing.

He conceded Mr Christensen was psychotic in November and December 2019, but said he could see no evidence to support claims he was suffering a similar episode on 13 August.

The jury must decide if the killing was murder or manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The trial continues.

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