Ben Mawhood, 24, phoned police and threatened to shoot someone. He then pointed the starting pistol at the girl, a stranger to him, as he stood a short distance from her in Eboracum Way, off Foss Islands Road, York.She didn't know it was a starting pistol, of course. Luckily for her, a passing motorist actually stopped his car and tackled him, restraining him until police arrive. Now there's a man (Philip Boaz is his name) who deserves a medal.
Mawhood, who had drunk half a bottle of vodka and taken illegal drugs, had two knives on him, and police later found a weapons hoard, including another imitation firearm, at his flat.It turns out that, once again, as so often in these cases, there were plenty of warning signs:
In the months leading up to the incident, Mawhood had absconded from a mental health hospital and though he had later surrendered himself, he had been aggressive and smashed windows there, the judge said.Indeed, so odd was his behaviour, the worried parents (and some NHS staff) were considering the ultimate sanction:
Defence barrister Nicholas Barker said that on May 3, Mawhood’s mother and community psychiatric professionals were so concerned about his behaviour they had discussed sectioning him under the Mental Health Act.Unfortunately, that discussion never materialised into action. But surely, now he...
Two psychiatrists consulted by the defence declared Mawhood’s mental condition did not require him to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act, so the judge passed a prison sentence.Three years. That’s what he got. And he’ll probably serve half that, if we’re lucky.
And, presumably, no treatment, unless on a voluntary basis?