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Man Bludgeons Friend, Gets Life Term

James Smith, a former psychiatric patient has been jailed for life for bludgeoning his friend Stuart Robertson to death in October last year in a Glasgow's Pollok Park.

He attacked his friend less than a year after being // released from a psychiatric hospital where a judge had ordered he be detained indefinitely for another violent assault.

Stuart Robertson, a father of three from Glasgow, befriended James Smith while they were both patients at Leverndale Hospital near Paisley. Three months later he battered Mr Robertson to death with a hammer.

James Smith, 46, has had mental problems since 1991.

Temporary judge Ian Simpson, QC, said the case did little to encourage public confidence in the management of people who are mentally ill.

In 1997 Smith was convicted in the High Court in Perth of assault to severe injury and the danger of life. The court imposed a Hospital Order and placed restrictions on his discharge. However, in April 2003, he was given a conditional discharge from Leverndale Hospital in Glasgow. On October 21, 2004 he then bludgeoned father-of-three Stuart Robertson to death with a hammer.

Smith was originally charged with murder but his plea of guilty to a lesser charge of culpable homicide was accepted by the Crown on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He appeared in court in March this year when sentence was deferred for reports.

Smith was sentenced to life in prison with a punishment part, the part he must serve, of nine years before being considered for parole.

He was returned to the State Hospital at Carstairs and if released from there will serve the remaining part of his sentence behind bars.

Outside court, the victim's family is furious over the frenzied act and demanded to know why Smith was freed to kill their brother.

Stuart's brother Gordon Robertson, 41, said: "We want to find out how he could b e released and go on to kill our brother. "We have no confidence in the system. Our brother was let down by it. He was a happy-go-lucky guy.

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