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Sentence delay for addict who stabbed fellow user 65 times

Geoffrey Caton died after he was stabbed 65 times by Mourad Belarbi
Geoffrey Caton died after he was stabbed 65 times by Mourad Belarbi

The sentencing of the man who stabbed a fellow drugs user 65 times has been delayed for a month for a psychiatric assessment.

Mourad Belarbi, 43, had been due to be sentenced today but following an application by his legal team, a judge has agreed to postpone it.

Belarbi, of Lake Avenue, Bury St Edmunds, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Geoffrey Caton on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The body of Mr Caton, 57, was found at a property in Cumberland Avenue, Bury, on July 20.

Mr Caton had 65 stab wounds, mostly to his body, and died as a result of blood loss.

A pathologist said the wounds had been delivered with ‘severe force’.

Following Belarbi’s arrest, two psychiatrists interviewed him and agreed he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia made worse by drug use, which helped to explain why he killed Mr Caton.

Today (Monday) Belarbi appeared at Ipswich Crown Court via a video link from Belmarsh Prison where he is being held awaiting sentencing.

Judge Martyn Levett told Belarbi that he would appear before the court again on April 4 when he may be sentenced.

The judge made an interim hospital order to allow Belarbi to be assessed by a psychiatrist before a final decision is made on the sentence he will receive.

It is expected the court will make Belarbi subject to an order detaining him at a secure psychiatric hospital.

Belarbi was originally charged with murder but on the first day of his trial in January, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

The court then heard that both he and Mr Caton were drug users and had taken amphetamine, cannabis and cocaine together in the weeks before Mr Caton’s death.

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