Man to be sentenced for triple killing in Colchester

From L-R: Richard Booth and brothers Danny Gibson and Jason Gibson who were all killed in Colchester

From L-R: Richard Booth and brothers Danny Gibson and Jason Gibson who were all killed in Colchester. - Credit: ESSEX POLICE

A three-day sentencing hearing for a 34-year-old man who has admitted killing three men in Colchester is due to get underway at Ipswich Crown Court today. 

Tom Saunders, of Bounstead Road, Colchester, pleaded guilty last month to the manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility of brothers Danny Gibson, 35, and 31-year-old Jason Gibson, both from Colchester, and 35-year-old Richard Booth in October 2019.

He also admitted having an offensive weapon, namely a knife, in a public place.

He denied murdering the men and Karim Khalil QC, prosecuting, said the pleas to manslaughter were acceptable and there would be no need for a trial on the murder charges.

The court heard that Saunders was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and paranoid delusional belief at the time of the killings.

During this week’s sentencing hearing, psychiatrists for the prosecution and the defence will give evidence about Saunders’ mental state and his barrister Tracy Ayling QC said she might call members of his family to give details of his history of mental illness.

A section of Wellesley Road in Colchester, Essex is cordoned off by police investigating the deaths

A section of Wellesley Road in Colchester cordoned off following the stabbings - Credit: PA

Police officers were called to an address in Wellesley Road, Colchester at 10.15pm Saturday, October 5, 2019, over concerns for the welfare of two men following reports of an altercation. 

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Officers found the bodies of brothers Danny and Jason Gibson inside the property, while Mr Booth's body was found in a car in Hospital Road.

Post mortem examinations established that the three men died from multiple stab wounds.

Saunders first appeared in court in October 2019, before magistrates in Colchester and since then he has been seen by a number of psychiatrists while being held at Rampton Secure Hospital.

During a previous hearing at the end of October last year, Saunders was deemed fit to stand trial by psychiatrists.