A PARANOID schizophrenic from Erith who stabbed his neighbour's dog before plunging the knife into a charity volunteer's back has been detained indefinitely.

Ben Payne, of Coronation Court, Stelling Road, launched into a "frightening explosion of violence" after his neighbour knocked on his flat door to check how he was.

The 29-year-old brandished a steak knife before Russell Mander and Ben and Michael Homer backed off into their flats without realising Rottweiler Poppy was trapped outside.

Prosecutor Keith Hadrill told Woolwich Crown Court on Friday: "They heard banging and shouting in one of the flats above and were met by the defendant who was brandishing a steak knife, about four or five inches long.

"Both were threatened and both retreated inside but the dog remained outside the shut door.

"The poor dog was stabbed and its owner Mr Mander looked out and saw the dog bleeding."

Payne then left the flat armed with the knife before chasing charity volunteer Mark Denny down the street.

The 49-year-old was on his way home from Homeleigh Care Home in Avenue Road when he heard a man mumbling.

Describing the events which unfolded at around 1pm on October 23 last year, Mr Hadrill said: "Mr Denny started to run and the defendant followed.

"Then Mr Denny felt a punch to his back and realised he had been injured."

The care worker struggled before collapsing on to the boot of a car.

A passer-by tried to remove the knife which had been plunged into his back but couldn't because it was wedged in so deep.

Payne then stole a golf club from a back garden shed before walking down Lesney Park Road threatening passers-by.

Police were inundated with calls before armed officers swooped and tasered Payne, who was still brandishing the club.

He was arrested and taken into custody where he punched two police officers in the early hours of the following morning.

The paranoid schizophrenic was immediately detained at the Bracton Centre mental health institution in Dartford.

Initially charged with attempted murder, which he denied, the prosecution accepted Payne’s guilty plea to the grievous bodily harm charge at a hearing on July 12.

He also admitted two charges of affray, two counts of common assault and possessing an offensive weapon.

One charge of criminal damage, relating to Poppy, was also admitted.

The court heard how Payne had suffered a "psychotic episode" causing hallucinations on the day of the attacks.

Defending, Dean George said in mitigation: "Cases like this are always very difficult, they are tragic for a number of reasons.

"Mr Payne is receiving treatment and it's clear the level of treatment he's receiving at the Bracton Centre is extremely high quality. "He is a lovely young man in essence.

"He was under some care at the time of the offence but did not appear to be taking his medication.

"Looking back, he's truly sorry and feels terrible. He appreciated he needs care."

Judge Christopher Kinch described the attacks as a "frightening explosion of violence" which Mr Denny was "fortunate to survive."

He said: "It's a pretty frightening series of offences and one in which I might be looking to lock you up to protect the public by means of a long prison sentence.

"What's happened since makes the picture a rather more indifferent one because you've been having treatment at the Bracton Centre.

"You're someone who suffers from mental disorder paranoid schizophrenia.

"I accept that it is the psychosis of schizophrenia that presents the danger of further offences in your case and that it's in your interest and the public's that you get your treatment to address these symptoms and deal with the illness."

Judge Kinch detained Payne under section 37 of the Mental Health Act and enforced a section 41 restriction order "for the protection of the public", which means he can only be released by the Home Secretary or the decision of a tribunal.

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