A PSYCHOTIC man who described himself as a ‘walking time bomb’ was sentenced to life in prison after the tragic death of student Gemma Roberts.
A judge ruled that Richard Hanson must serve a life sentence after pleading guilty to her manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Student Gemma Roberts, 18, was fatally stabbed by Hanson, 21, moments after he carried-out a spate of random attacks on passers-by in Liversedge.
Judge Peter Collier QC told Hanson, of Stubley Farm Lane, Heckmondwike, that he was a ‘very dangerous young man’ at the hearing at Leeds Crown Court on Monday.
Hanson, who has 17 previous convictions ranging from driving offences to robbery, killed Gemma Roberts after telling friends: "I don’t care what happens anymore, I’m going to take it out on any random person."
Prosecutor James Goss said Hanson targeted a number of people before attacking Miss Roberts on Holme Street near to the Swan Public House at 7.45pm on September 21 2006.
Hanson attacked a 17-year-old boy and threatened a 13-year-old boy before targeting a young Asian man and punching a 51-year-old man.
At one point he picked up a broken bottle and told friends: "Watch out, I’m going to stab him," as the 51-year-old passed him in a ginnel.
Moments later, Hanson targeted Miss Roberts.
Mr Goss said: "The defendant, in an act of random and irrational violence, lifted his arm and swung it backwards and out into her neck. He still had the broken bottle part in his hand."
Miss Roberts made her way to the Swan Public House car park off Holme Street where she asked for help. She was taken to Wakefield and District Hospital but sadly died after a haemorrhage to her neck.
Hanson went to a petrol station and stole eight cans of lager after the attack.
Mr Goss added: "The evidence is overwhelming for the defendant being responsible for the homicide of Gemma Roberts."
Mr Eric Elliot QC, defending, described the attack as ‘senseless and horrific’ but said that Hanson had not received treatment for his mental health problems.
He said: "It’s sad the facilities aren’t available to people other than in prison.
"The defendant was a walking time bomb waiting to explode."
With an IQ of just 78, Hanson was said to have displayed mental health issues since the age of three. In 1990 he kicked a teacher and set fire to a bed, while in 1998, at the age of 12, he displayed signs of extreme disruptive behaviour.
In June 2006, he was involved in a road traffic collision and even though he suffered no trauma to his head, it was the start of his disturbed behaviour.
He told prison officers that he was depressed, low and anxious and that he feared he would hurt a fellow pad-mate after being sentenced for driving offences in July 2006.
Just weeks after he was released, and on the day he cruelly took Miss Robert’s life, he visited a GP with his mother.
The GP reported that Hanson was aggressive and unable to control his behaviour. He was referred to a community psychiatric nurse but hours later killed Miss Roberts with a broken bottle.
Psychiatrists described Hanson as being ‘highly dangerous’ and a risk to the public.
Sentencing, Judge Collier QC said: "Not only did you cut short her promising life but you devastated her family who will struggle to come to terms with her death for many days to come.
"You are, in my view, a very dangerous young man and the only sentence I can pass on you is a sentence of life imprisonment."
He was warned he may never be released and would be subject to a licence for the rest of his life.