Artist who attacked parents detained indefinitely

A PARANOID artist who launched a frenzied attack on his parents, leaving his mother dead and father injured, will remain in a secure hospital indefinitely.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, Judge Lord Uist ordered he remain in the State Hospital, Carstairs, indefinitely. Picture: TSPL

Graeme Morris, 38, struck without warning, believing his parents had harmed him when he was a child. His father Fred, 64, escaped from his bungalow in Troon, Ayrshire, covered in blood, but his mother Anne, 63, suffered a fatal heart attack.

Morris, who had been living in Brighton, admitted culpable homicide and assault to danger of life. At the High Court in Edinburgh, Judge Lord Uist ordered he remain in the State Hospital, Carstairs, indefinitely.

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Morris can only be released with the approval of the Scottish Ministers. The court heard he had been diagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and would pose a danger to the public if not treated in conditions of high security.

At an earlier hearing, Lord Uist was told that Morris, a former student at Glasgow School of Art, was obsessed with the idea that he was a genius.

Advocate depute Andrew Miller, prosecuting, said he was described as “strange and eccentric”. He also came to believe that he had suffered as a child at his parents’ hands.

His former girlfriend, Emma Russell, had become worried about his increasingly strange behaviour during the months leading up to the attack.

She contacted a doctor and Morris was put on a waiting list to see a psychiatrist. But on 5 October last year, Morris travelled from Brighton to Troon and turned up at his parents’ bungalow without warning.

The couple were sitting in their conservatory when Morris began to shout abuse.

He grabbed his mother, who was on a couch, by the hair before punching his father to the floor. As Mrs Morris tried to struggle to her feet, her son slapped her face. Morris continued battering his father as he lay on the ground, stripping him to his socks and kicking him.

When Mr Morris senior arrived at a neighbours’ house pleading for help they did not recognise him because his head was covered in blood.

Morris fled just before police arrived and took a train to Glasgow. The officers found his mother slumped on a sofa and apparently not breathing.

Morris was detained as he got off the train later that day, at Euston Station, and brought back to Scotland for questioning.

He confessed to hitting his parents but added: “I didn’t murder my mother. I didn’t have any intention of murdering either of my parents or killing them or for them to die.”

The court was told that Mrs Morris died because of a heart condition, diagnosed in 1996 and known to her family.

Mr Miller said: “The effect of this condition was that any strenuous physical activity or stressful situations had the potential to be life-threatening.”

Mr Morris spent seven days in hospital following the attack, receiving treatment for injuries including a fractured eye socket.