Screwdriver killer given day release

PUBLISHED: 17:27 21 May 2008 | UPDATED: 10:52 12 August 2010

TRAGIC: David Rodway.

TRAGIC: David Rodway.

A POLICE chief has slammed a decision to give day release to a man who fatally stabbed someone in the head with a screwdriver.

A POLICE chief has slammed a decision to give day release to a man who fatally stabbed someone in the head with a screwdriver.

Darrell McLeish was handed an indefinite hospital order under the Mental Health Act for killing David Rodway, 29, in Bromley town centre two years ago.

But less than a year and a half after his conviction, Mr McLeish, formerly of Widecombe Road, Mottingham, will be allowed day release from his medium-secure unit.

Charles Griggs, Bromley's borough commander slammed the decision.

He said: "I'm outraged. How can someone who was so ill that he couldn't be given a prison sentence 17 months ago have made such a miraculous recovery that he's fit to be released?

"I'm no doctor but I find it bizarre."

It is believed McLeish will be give unescorted leave within his hospital grounds for one hour a day.

McLeish was just 19 when he was sentenced at the Old Bailey on December 15, 2006, after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter due to diminished responsibility.

Mr Rodway died two days after he was stabbed in the head following an altercation with McLeish at 11pm on Saturday, May 6, 2006

The incident took place after Mr Rodway and his brother and friend had an argument outside the Walkabout pub with McLeish before meeting again in East Street when violence erupted.

Mr Rodway was left with serious head injuries and was treated by paramedics and staff at Princess Royal University Hospital but later died.

Bromley police informed his family earlier this month of McLeish's day release which is yet to be finalised.

Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, who manage the unit, said: "The policy for patients to take leave from the hospital grounds is based on a thorough and comprehensive assessment of risk and, where appropriate, agreed by the Ministry of Justice.

"The safety of the patient and the public is paramount at all times."

A spokesman for Ministry of Justice said: "Patients who are sectioned are treated and managed according to clinical assessment and psychiatric risk assessment which are agreed with the mental health unit for the Ministry of Justice who accept the clinical assessment except in exceptional circumstances."

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