A TEENAGER who fatally stabbed a man in the head with a screwdriver is set to go on day release after just 17 months.

Darrell McLeish was 19 when he was given an indefinite hospital order under the Mental Health Act for killing 29-year-old David Rodway in Bromley town centre.

But two years after the attack it has been revealed McLeish, formerly of Widecombe Road, Mottingham, is set to be allowed to go on day release from his medium-security hospital.

Mr Rodway's family and friends were told the news by Bromley police earlier this month.

His mother Maureen Johnson said: "How can a man who put a screwdriver through my son's head get out after two years?

"It is just so upsetting and I sobbed my heart out when I heard the news.

"I thought after the trial we could relax but then the police turn up out of the blue and tell us he is coming out. I am outraged. He should have been put in prison for what he did to us."

The 54-year-old of Ascot Road, St Paul's Cray, says she still cannot face moving her dead son's possessions from his old room.

She added: "The man who killed my son should have gone to prison. It should have been life for a life.

"It is hell knowing he will be out soon."

A friend of Mr Rodway, who does not wish to be named, says they would be fighting against the "upsetting" decision.

Bromley police borough commander Chief Superintendent Charles Griggs is also angry at the news.

He said: "I'm outraged. How can someone who was so ill that he couldn't be given a prison sentence 17 months ago have made such a miraculous recovery that he's fit to be released?

"I'm no doctor but I find it bizarre."

Police found Mr Rodway in East Street, Bromley, with a 16cm screwdriver embedded in his head after a disagreement between him and McLeish on May 6, 2006.

He died two days later in the Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough.

Judges at the Old Bailey handed McLeish the hospital order on December 15, 2006, after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

At the time of his arrest on May 13, 2006, he asked a police officer: "How long would I have to serve before I go on parole for murder?"

Ms Johnson says she has been told the terms of McLeish's possible day release have yet to been finalised but it is thought he will be accompanied outside hospital grounds by several nurses.

In court, former data engineer McLeish was described by prosecutor Toyin Akinyemi as an "exceptionally violent man" who had used weapons in the past.

He has convictions for common assault on a police officer and inflicting actual bodily harm after attacking a woman with a key.

McLeish also has a conviction for a public order offence, where he threatened a man with a fork in a pub.

It is believed McLeish is in a hospital run by the Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health services in Bromley, Bexley and Greenwich, but the trust would not confirm this.

An Oxleas spokesman said: "The policy for patients to take leave from the hospital grounds is based on a thorough and comprehensive assessment of risk and, where appropriate, agreed by the Ministry of Justice.

"The safety of the patient and the public is paramount at all times."