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Crawley man sentenced to life imprisonment for manslaughter in Langley Green

A young man who stabbed and killed another man, who was unknown to him, has been sentenced to life imprisonment and made the subject of a Section 45A hospital order.

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Vladimir Ivanov used a kitchen knife on Glyn Rouse in an unprovoked attack in broad daylight in Crawley.

The incident occurred on a footpath close to the playground in Cherry Lane shortly before 10.30am on Tuesday 28 November, 2017.

The 61-year-old victim, who lived in nearby Rushetts Place, was discovered by passers-by with serious wounds to his neck, head, chest and left arm. Despite the best efforts of emergency services, he was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

Ivanov, 23, a warehouseman, of Juniper Road, Crawley, was arrested in the area shortly afterwards by officers who were on route to assist. He was covered in blood and had a wound to his left hand, believed to have been sustained during the attack.

During police interview, he told officers he took a knife from his home and placed it in his jacket pocket as he went jogging in Cherry Lane that morning.

There were a number of other people in the area at the time, including Mr Rouse. However, without any prior interaction with anyone, Ivanov attacked Mr Rouse. When questioned by police he said “something in my mind told me to do this”.

He added that he did not know what his intention was for taking the knife, but said that it was not normal for him to do this.

The two men were not previously known to each other.

Ivanov was subsequently charged with murder and remanded in custody. He underwent assessments by four psychiatrists working on behalf of the defence and prosecution in the intervening period, and the results of those assessments – that he was fit to stand trial – led to the murder trial.

However, during the trial, there were fresh concerns over Ivanov’s mental health. He was reassessed by the same psychiatrists, at the request of the judge, and they came to the same conclusion that on the balance of probabilities, it was more likely than not that he was suffering from such mental illness at the time of the attack and that he had a defence to murder of diminished responsibility.

On that basis, the prosecution withdrew the murder indictment and accepted a guilty plea to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He was subsequently convicted and the jury was dismissed on Friday 9 November, 2018.

The defendant had no diagnosed mental health issues previously – either in the UK or in his native Bulgaria.

Following conviction, he was subject of an interim hospital order for the purpose of further assessing him for sentencing.

Ivanov appeared at Lewes Crown Court, sitting at Brighton, on Wednesday (27 March), where he was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum four year term as result of his early guilty plea. However, he was also made the subject of a Section 45A hospital order requiring him to remain indefinitely alongside his sentence. He cannot be released from that order without the authority of the Secretary of State and the parole board.

The findings of these further assessments were presented in court by Dr Ley.

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Ashcroft, of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, who led the investigation, said:

“I would like to extend my sympathies to the victim’s family and friends. Mr Rouse had been out walking and minding his own business that morning when he was subjected to an unbelievable, highly unusual, unprovoked attack. Tragically, the wounds he sustained proved to be fatal and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Ivanov fled the scene of his crime and was witnessed making attempts to flag down a number of passing motorists in the area before he was arrested shortly afterwards.

“His motive for killing an innocent man remains unknown. It appears to be borne from the mental state of Ivanov at that time.

“Ivanov only moved to the UK from Bulgaria a couple of months previously, and he appeared to be settled at an address in Crawley and was employed with a local delivery firm.”

Mr Rouse’s family issued the following tribute:

“Glyn was an extremely talented man who loved the arts, he was extremely dedicated to his music and excelled at guitar playing. His music brightened and improved a lot of people’s lives, and all of his family and friends will remember Glyn when they hear a guitar being played well.

“Glyn was dedicated to his art and spent a lot of time carrying out this hobby, his amazing talent at art shines through when you look at his numerous paintings and sketches, and it was obvious that he was a very talented, precise and expressive person.

“Glyn was a very private man and preferred to keep himself to himself, and did not like to burden friends or family about any problems he may have had. He preferred just to sort things out himself and get on with his life.

“It was always a pleasure to see Glyn attending the occasional family event, whether they were happy events or sad events, and he was always chatty and upbeat and a pleasure to be around. The family as a whole respected Glyn’s wishes to be a very private person but we always knew that he would be available in a crisis if needed.

“After Glyn’s untimely death it has been discovered that he did indeed have a large group of friends in and around the Crawley area, and the family realised that all his friends are also connected to Glyn’s hobbies as in music and art, and they all share our grief in the sudden and tragic loss of our beloved Glyn.

“We ask friends and family of Glyn to remember him in their prayers, and also kindly request people to respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time for us.”

Crime

Betting shop robbed at knifepoint in Southgate, Crawley

Sussex Police are investigating a knife point robbery in Crawley and are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

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A man entered a betting shop in Southgate Parade, Crawley around 10.05am on Wednesday (June 5).

He threatened the staff worker and demanded money from the till before fleeing the scene.

Officers attended the premises and conducted an area search but the suspect was not found.

Sussex Police say that all lines of enquiry will be investigated.

Chief Inspector Rosie Ross said:

“All lines of enquiry connected to this incident will be investigated.

“Engagement with the communities is vital and we will continue to educate members of the public about the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife.

“Our message to those who carry a knife or thinking of carrying a knife is that it does not protect you and could actually make you more vulnerable and in danger of serious harm.”

Anyone with information is asked to report online or call 101 quoting 351 of 05/06.

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