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Thug Samuel Hall, 20, stabbed prison officer 'after voices told him to kill'

The entrance to Rochester Young Offenders Insitution
The entrance to Rochester Young Offenders Insitution

A thug serving youth custody stabbed a prison officer after hearing voices telling him to kill, a court heard.

Samuel Hall believed if he "silenced" Lewis Bennett at Rochester young offenders' institute, he would silence the voices.

Now the 20-year-old, from Weston, Southampton, could be facing a life sentence for attempted murder.

Hall, also known as James, admitted the charge at Maidstone Crown Court today and asked to be sentenced immediately.

"He has spent a considerable time in custody and various institutions," Mark Dacey, defending, told Judge Jeremy Carey. "He informs me there would be no co-operation with those compiling reports.

"In those circumstances, you have a discretion to sentence today. I would advise you to exercise that discretion."

But the judge said it was "grave criminality" and he would need psychiatric and pre-sentence reports.

Edmund Burgess, prosecuting, said Hall made full and frank admissions that he engineered a situation where he could attack the victim, fully intending to kill him.

"He fashioned a knife for that precise purpose," he said. "He then met with the prison officer where he repeats that admission.

"He says his desire to kill the victim was partly driven by hearing voices in his head telling him to do it. That voice came from the victim, so having silenced the victim he would silence the voices."

Maidstone crown court
Maidstone crown court

Lewis Bennett will be sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court

Judge Carey told Mr Dacey: "The likely sentence is life imprisonment. He is a young man of 20 and it is important the court has as much information as possible.

"It could mean he is in prison for decades. He should think long and hard about the implications of undue haste. He might consider it would be relevant for the court to have reports.

"If he chooses not to co-operate, so be it. I cannot force him."

Adjourning sentence until October 22, the judge told Hall: "I do not expect you to agree, but I decide what happens. It is in your best interests and the best interests of the public that I make a decision based on full information.

"I urge you for your own sake and for obvious reasons to co-operate with psychiatrists who will not be against you. It is up to you in the end."

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