Man admits manslaughter of Geoffrey Caton, 57, in Bury St Edmunds

Geoffrey Caton, who was found dead at his home in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE

Geoffrey Caton, who was found dead at his home in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE - Credit: Archant

A mentally-ill Bury St Edmunds man accused of killing a 57-year-old man by stabbing him multiple times has admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Police were called to reports that a man had been stabbed in Cumberland Avenue, Bury St Edmunds. Pic

Police were called to reports that a man had been stabbed in Cumberland Avenue, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

After leaving 57-year-old Geoffrey Caton’s flat in Cumberland Avenue, Bury Edmunds, Mourad Belarbi went to a neighbour’s flat with blood on his face and hands and still holding the blood stained knife he had used in the attack, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Belarbi told the shocked neighbour that Mr Caton was “evil” and was “the devil”, said Andrew Jackson, prosecuting.

The alarm was raised and on finding that the door to Mr Caton’s first floor flat was locked an army reservist climbed up a ladder and saw a “scene of devastation” through the window. “He could see Mr Caton’s body in the living room surrounded by a great deal of mess,” said Mr Jackson.

A paramedic who attended the scene declared Mr Caton dead at 6.20pm.


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A post-mortem examination found Mr Caton been stabbed more than 65 times, mainly to the torso, and the cause of the death was blood loss caused by the stab wounds.

A pathologist who carried out the post mortem examination described the blows as being delivered with “severe force”.

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Belarbi, 43, of Lake Avenue, Bury St Edmunds had denied murdering Mr Caton on July 20 last year and his trial was due to get underway today.

However, before the case started, he admitted unlawfully killing Mr Caton on the grounds of diminished responsibility and the jury was discharged from returning a verdict on the murder charge.

Sentence was adjourned until March for psychiatric reports on Belarbi to be updated.

Mr Jackson told the court that Belarbi had been seen by two psychiatrists who found he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia which had been exacerbated by his abuse of drugs.

He said the psychiatrists agreed that at the time of the killing Belarbi was suffering from a recognised mental illness to such a degree that it provided an explanation for the killing.

“They both agree at the time of the killing the mental illness from which he suffers was such as to cause significant doubt that he was able to form rational thought and exercise self control,” said Mr Jackson.

The court heard that Mr Caton and Belarbi were both drug addicts and in the weeks leading up to the killing they had spent time together using amphetamine, cocaine and cannabis.

On the day before the killing Belarbi had held an air gun to Mr Caton’s head but had later apologised and said he was “only playing”.

The next day Mr Caton, Belarbi and a neighbour had used drugs at Mr Caton’s flat and when the neighbour left Mr Caton and Belarbi had been “happily” watching TV together.

It was just 30 minutes later that Belarbi banged at a neighbour’s door following the attack and the alarm was raised.

The court heard that the knife used in the attack came from Mr Caton’s flat.

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