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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Birmingham stabbings: Killer was ‘lost in system’ without crucial support before brutal knife spree

Ordering his detention at Ashworth Hospital, Mr Justice Pepperall, the judge in the case, said: “Your victims were variously enjoying a night out or returning home from work.

“They gave you no offence and they were chosen at random.”

But the judge also recognised the alleged failings of the various agencies, which he said had left McLeod lost in the system.

“I find you were released from prison in April 2020 at the height of the first wave of the Covid pandemic without any appropriate follow up by mental health services,” the judge said.

“Indeed, given your past medical history, it is a matter of considerable concern you were simply lost in the system for some weeks,” he said. 

“I have no doubt whatsoever you are a very dangerous man and pose a significant risk to members of the public of serious harm.”

McLeod was told he would have to serve a minimum of 21 years and be moved to a prison to serve the remainder of his term if his mental health improved sufficiently.

The judge said: “Such a sentence ensures you first obtain treatment but means should you ever be assessed as fit to leave hospital, you will be transferred to a prison and not simply released.”

Victim was a ‘fantastic young man’

Paying tribute to her son, Mrs Billington said: “He was an absolutely fantastic young man. He was fun, cheeky, full of life, full of happiness. Things were going really well for Jacob at the time of his death.

“He was working at the university where he’d studied as a graduate intern. He had a new girlfriend. He was just in a really good place.

“He had an amazing set of friends who were really supportive and they were just enjoying their young lives. I couldn’t have hoped for more with Jacob really.”

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