Man who killed ex-partner detained at Carstairs

A GRADUATE who killed his former girlfriend in a “frenzy of violence” has been ordered to be detained without limit of time in the State Hospital at Carstairs.

• Douglas Lawrence inflicted knife wounds to Carolyn Ellis

• Psychiatrists told the court Lawrence suffered from schizophrenia and Asperger’s syndrome

• Lord Uist said that any ultimate release should be allowed only under the authority of the Scottish Ministers

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Douglas Lawrence, 29, inflicted 45 knife wounds to Carolyn Ellis, 32, with such force that the tip of the blade broke and became embedded in her skull.

Psychiatrists told the High Court in Edinburgh that Lawrence suffered from schizophrenia and Asperger’s syndrome, and had difficulty since childhood in dealing with anger and violent thoughts, although he had no history of violent offending before the killing of Ms Ellis.

“Treatment is going to be challenging and complicated. He is at the start of a long journey,” said Dr Ian Dewar, 45, consultant forensic psychiatrist.

The judge, Lord Uist, said he was satisfied that he should make a compulsion order, detaining Lawrence in the high security conditions of the State Hospital, and that, for the protection of the public, any ultimate release should be allowed only under the authority of the Scottish Ministers.

Lawrence was initially charged with murdering Ms Ellis at her flat in West Tollcross, Edinburgh, on 17 January last year, but at an earlier hearing his guilty plea to the lesser offence of culpable homicide was accepted by the Crown.

The court was told Lawrence had obtained a second class honours degree in philosophy at Edinburgh University in 2009. It appeared he had successfully managed his mental difficulties by living a circumscribed, mundane and predictable lifestyle.

Ms Ellis had studied previously at St Andrews University and at the time of her death was at Napier University, Edinburgh, studying reflexology. She suffered borderline personality disorder and had met Lawrence through outpatient psychiatric services. Their relationship - Lawrence’s first and only intimate relationship - was “complicated” by their respective mental health difficulties and Ms Ellis ended it in November last year.

Lawrence went to Ms Ellis’s flat. They talked briefly before she asked him to leave. He became angry and attacked her in what the judge described as a “frenzy of violence.”

Lord Uist said it was a tragic case for everyone involved.