Tayside and Central Scotland

Taliban paranoia killer detained at state hospital

A man who stabbed his girlfriend 46 times because he thought she was poisoning him for the Taliban has been detained at a high-security psychiatric hospital indefinitely.

Lee Hospdal killed Catherine Sandeman at a flat on Forfar's Glenmoy Terrace in October 2013.

The 33-year-old pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of culpable homicide.

Lord Boyd of Duncansby said it was clear that Hopsdal was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

Hopsdal admitted repeatedly striking 40-year-old Ms Sandeman on the head with a mug before repeatedly striking and stabbing her on the head and body with a knife or knives and killing her.

He then walked 13 miles to Dundee with a bleeding hand wound, and told staff at a city centre shop he had been attacked by men with knives.

When taken to Ninewells Hospital, he told a doctor he was burning from ultraviolet rays which were being shot from the roof and began using a blanket as a shield.

He later told psychiatrists that he believed his partner was spiking his tea with arsenic or pills on behalf of the Taliban, and claimed someone had been controlling him the night of the attack.

In the weeks before the attack on 29 or 30 October, 2013, Ms Sandeman had voiced fears to friends and family about Hospdal's increasingly erratic behaviour, and described him as a "psycho".

'Serious threat'

Initially charged with murder at the High Court in Edinburgh, Hopsdal admitted a reduced charge on the grounds his responsibility was diminished at the time of the offence.

Lord Boyd said he was satisfied that Hopsdal would present a serious threat of harm to himself and others if released into the community.

The judge imposed a compulsion order and a restriction order on the killer. Under such measures Hopsdal's case will have to be referred to Scottish ministers before he can be released.

He said: "Nothing I can say can alleviate the pain and suffering that has been caused by the death of Catherine Sandeman through your acts of violence.

"It is, however, clear to me you are suffering from a mental illness, namely paranoid schizophrenia, as well as a personality disorder.

"I shall order you be detained at the State Hospital at Carstairs without limit of time."

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites