Man pleads guilty to manslaughter of elderly holidaymaker

PUBLISHED: 10:20 07 November 2014 | UPDATED: 10:20 07 November 2014

The Black Horse.

The Black Horse.


A Sidmouth man who killed a holidaymaker with a bayonet after he refused to buy him a drink has been sent to a secure mental hospital.

Exeter Crown Court.Exeter Crown Court.

Nicholas Jamieson was suffering from a psychotic illness which made him believe that a First World War bayonet he had bought for £90 was telling him what to do.

Victim Brian Kemp, aged 71, was on holiday in Sidmouth and drinking on his own at the Black Horse in Fore Street when Jamieson asked him to buy him and drink.

He refused and sat down at a table minding his own business when Jamieson pulled the bayonet from his jacket and plunged it through his chest.

The point went six inches through his body, killing him almost instantly when it cut his heart and aorta. An off duty doctor and nurse rushed to his help but Jamieson sat back onto his bar stool and carried on drinking as if nothing had happened.

Nicholas Jamieson, 42, of Old Fore Street, Sidmouth, admitted manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility and was made subject of an indefinite hospital order which restricts his release by Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, at Exeter Crown Court.

He said: “Mr Kemp is described by his family as a quiet and gentle man. He was a stranger to this defendant and there is no apparent cause other than refusing to buy him a drink.

“This was a horrific crime and not surprisingly the medical reports conclude he was suffering from severe psychotic illness and his responsibility was diminished for that reason.

“I am making the hospital order with restriction for his own protection but also for the protection of the public.”

The order means Jamieson is now a patient at Langdon Hospital in Dawlish where his release is restricted indefinitely.

Mr Simon Laws, QC, prosecuting, said Jamieson lived opposite the pub and his behaviour had been worrying neighbours for months before the attack.

He stayed up much of the night playing loud music and at one stage neighbours heard thudding sounds as he threw the bayonet into the floor.

Mr Laws said: “It was a World War One bayonet with a long blade, sharp tip and cutting edge. He had bought it for £90 and it was obvious he regarded it with interest. He had a sharpening stone and a cloth to oil it.

“He was to tell one of the doctors he could read it. He said he could see the deaths it had caused and the deaths it would cause in the future.”

He said on the night of September 26 last year both men were in the Black Horse on their own and Jamieson drank at least five pints of beer.

He was pestering a woman at the bar and Mr Kemp tutted but it is not known if Jamieson heard this or if it upset him.

Mr Laws said: “Mr Kemp was sat quietly at a table but when he wt to the bar and Jamieson asked him to buy him a drink and he politely said no. Jamieson said something to the effect that it was f***ing rude, which may be a reference to his view that Mr Kemp should have bought him a drink.

“Just after 10pm he drew the bayonet from his jacket. He strode purposefully to where Mr Kemp was sitting and stabbed him through the chest with it.

“The pub’s CCTV recorded the whole thing and shows that no-one could have predicted what happened. It came out of nowhere.

“Mr Kemp clutched his chest and Mr Jamieson dropped the bayonet and walked back to his seat at the bar and was seen to be smiling or smirking.

“When one of the customers asked him why he had done it, he said he had not done anything.”

Mr Michael Fitton, QC, defending, said there was no objection to a hospital order. He said: “He is now well enough to plead and to express his remorse for all that occurred and his apology to the loved ones of the deceased.”

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