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Crime

Warehouseman convicted of killing Crawley resident Glyn Rouse near playground

A young man has been convicted of killing another man, who was unknown to him, in Crawley.

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Vladimir Ivanov used a kitchen knife to stab Glyn Rouse in an unprovoked attack in broad daylight.

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 was subject to assessments by psychiatrists working on behalf of the defence and prosecution in the intervening period. The results of the those assessments 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 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 by diminished responsibility.

On that basis, the prosecution accepted a guilty plea to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and the trial concluded on Friday (9 November).

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 who was unknown appears to be borne from the mental state of the offender. 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.”

Ivanov will be sentenced at the same court, provisionally on Friday 1 February 2019, following reports on the treatment and assessment of him.

Crime

Man jailed for stealing charity collection tins

A man who broke into a café and stole three charity collection tins has been jailed.

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Police were alerted to the break-in at The Conservatory Café in North Street, Horsham, about 11.30pm on Monday 13 May.

Smashed windows and traces of blood were discovered at the scene and a witnesses described a man acting suspiciously in the area around the time of the offence.

Due to the description provided and the information received, a suspect was nominated.

A PCSO on patrol spotted the suspect in Hurst Road about 7pm the following evening (14 May) and noticed he had cuts on his hand consistent with a recent injury.

The suspect was identified as Kieran Blunden, 33, unemployed, of no fixed address.

Further officers attended to assist, and Blunden was arrested and charged with burglary.

He was remanded in custody to appear before Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 16 May, where he was sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment.

He was also ordered to pay a total of £50 in compensation.

Blunden also admitted stealing a charity box from the Cancer Research shop in West Street, Horsham, on 14 May, and this offence was taken into consideration during sentencing.

Investigations Supervisor Dave Bell said:

“Blunden’s sentence reflects the seriousness of the offence committed and takes into account his previous offending history.

“This was a diabolical offence whereby the defendant has stolen from the most vulnerable in our community.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved for helping to bring him to justice – from the café owner who initially reported it, to the witness who provided a good description of the suspect, and the PCSO whose local knowledge ultimately led to Blunden being identified and arrested.”

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