Man who killed Haslingden teenager had 'personality disorder’

Lancashire Telegraph: DIED Declan Eastwood, and, right, police in Princess Street DIED Declan Eastwood, and, right, police in Princess Street

A MAN accused of murdering a 17-year-old in a frenzied knife attack has previously been diagnosed with having a personality disorder, a court heard.

Sean Fell denies killing Declan Eastwood at a house in Haslingden last year and Preston Crown Court was told he is not going to give evidence in his trial.

The jury have been hearing detail of 25-year-old Fell's psychiatric history.

Declan Eastwood and the defendant had what has been described by the prosecution as a ‘foolish playground squabble’ at a house on Princess Street, Haslingden – after which only one of them left the home alive.

Fell, of George Street, Haslingden is on trial and denies a charge of murdering the teenager last August.

The prosecution claim that Declan sustained twelve wounds in a frenzied knife attack and that any one of about four could have been fatal.

He and Fell had both been visitors at the address that night.

At one point Eastwood was blaming him for allegedly being party to his wallet having been taken around a couple of weeks earlier.

The court heard that the teenager punched Fell to the face.

Fell is alleged to have gone on to take a knife from a drawer, brandish this and then repeatedly stab Declan Eastwood.

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At the start of the defence case, Tony Cross QC told the court that the defendant was not being called to give evidence in the case.

A consultant forensic psychiatrist, Dr Josanne Holloway, then gave evidence to speak about Fell, including his psychiatric history.

In 2000, he had been diagnosed by his GP as having a personality disorder.

Four years later he was diagnosed as having non dependent cannabis use and later described as having mild retardation and innappropriate affect.

Then in 2008, another psychiatrist had concluded Fell had traits of a dis-social personality disorder.

Dr Holloway has read the prosecution papers in the case about what was said about the defendant and what he had told police in interview.

She said: "In my opinion, he is an adult who is vulnerable to exploitation and easily influenced by others.

“Though he doesn't fulfill the criteria for a specific personality disorder, he does appear to have characteristic and enduring patters of inner experience and behaviour which appear to be consistent with personality difficulties".

The jury were earlier told there are four issues to be raised by the defence – one is that Fell had acted in reasonable self defence.

It is also claimed that Fell had no intention to kill or do really serious bodily harm and that he had an abnormal mental function.

The trial continues.

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