Paul Franks, 48, killed fellow patient Paul Reed after leaving Rotherham District General Hospital to purchase three bottles of vodka from a Tesco store, leaving his victim’s parents devastated
Image: South Yorkshire Police)
The parents of a man killed by a hospital patient on his ward have been left devastated.
Paul Franks, 48, of Blackstock Road, Sheffield, killed a fellow patient after leaving Rotherham District General Hospital to purchase three bottles of vodka from a Tesco store.
47-year-old Paul Reed was killed by Mr Franks during a ‘fight’ on February 12 – he died the following day after suffering a bleed on the brain, reported YorkshireLive.
Paul Franks pleaded guilty last month to manslaughter after appearing at Sheffield Crown Court.
Prosecutor Richard Thyne QC said Franks, who was in hospital after suffering from alcohol withdrawal symptoms, was placed close to Reed’s bed on Ward 4 along with another patient Dennis Webb.
He said: “The defendant absconded and bought three bottles of vodka from Tesco.”
The prosecutor said a bottle was confiscated by security, one bottle was consumed and it was unknown what happened to the third bottle.
The QC added the fracas began at 7pm when a nurse, Tina Musgrove, saw Franks put Mr Reed in a headlock before smashing his head against the floor.
Mr Webb, a dementia patient, was also pushed to the floor and later died though his death was nothing to do with this assault.
Franks was heard to say as he walked away: “I have had enough of you f***ing two” and when the nurse challenged him added: “I will do it again if necessary, we are all poorly in here.”
Mr Thyne QC said the defendant was arrested originally on suspicion of murder and in interview accepted leaving the ward to buy alcohol.
He said Franks: “denied that he put him in a headlock and denied he had taken the deceased to the floor and denied any intention to cause him injury.”
He said Mr Reed’s father Glynn who was present at Sheffield Crown Court said he and his wife Linda were devastated by their son’s death.
In a victim impact statement he said: “Words can’t express how Paul’s death has impacted me and my wife Linda.”
He said his wife was particularly upset as she “never got to see Paul until after his death and now she never will.”
“He had only just come off the high dependency unit. Paul was a gentle soul and his personal issues never affected others. He was not a fighter.
“We had just got him a new flat and he was looking forward to getting home. We don’t have the strength to collect Paul’s ashes and can’t come to terms with him gone.
“It saddens us that our son was left in a position where he could not be protected.”
He added that they felt “he was let down” by the hospital.
The court heard the defendant had 16 previous convictions for 28 offences ranging from assault and battery to harassment.
His Honour Judge Peter Kelson QC jailed Franks for six years for the manslaughter charge and a further two years for four charges regarding unrelated sex offences involving teenage girls with a ‘pedo-hunter’ group of adults pretending to be girls.
Of the manslaughter charge, he said: “You left the hospital to buy alcohol and clearly consumed alcohol before returning to the hospital and lost your temper with Mr Reed.”
He said Mr Reed’s family had suffered an “awful loss because of your violence.”
And he said it was clear that “there was no fight.”
He said: “Paul Reed was not fighting. You simply lost your temper having taken drink. No sentence I can give can bring Paul Reed back.”
Afterwards, Det Insp Andy Knowles, who led the investigation, said: “This was an awful and entirely unnecessary incident that resulted in a man tragically losing his life.
“My sympathies are with Mr Reed’s family. I hope that they can now start to move forward and process what happened, knowing the man whose actions led to their loved one’s death is behind bars.”
Franks was handed six years in prison for manslaughter, with a further two years to run consecutively after a community order was revoked and he was re-sentenced for unrelated sex offences.