Young man admits killing church vicar

A young man has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of a church vicar on the grounds of 'diminished responsibility'.

Published 16 October 2007  |  
A young man has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of a church vicar on the grounds of 'diminished responsibility'.

Father Paul Bennett was horrifically murdered on 14 March by being repeatedly stabbed in the grounds of St Fagan's Church, Trecynon by local resident Geraint Evans.

Bennett, 59, who is also a married father of two, was attacked just outside the church while his helpless wife looked on.

Evans has denied murder, a plea accepted by the prosecution at Cardiff Crown Court.

The accused is a recognised sufferer of paranoid schizophrenia, and it has been revealed, had an obsession with God and the devil in a long-term fixation with religion.

According to the BBC, the court was told that Evans frequently smokes cannabis and inhales lighter fluid, and was previously in care as a teenager.

Following a stint in a young offenders institute, Evans grew into a regular visitor of satanic websites, and called himself Jack Blade on the Internet.

Father Bennett, who was profoundly deaf, lived in a flat near the church grounds with his wife.

He was attacked by Evans, and police were called to the scene at 3.50pm on 14 March, but by the time they arrived Father Bennett was already dead.

During his April funeral, assistant bishop of Llandaff, the Right Reverend David Yeoman, described Father Bennett as relaxed and often humorous person and a "committed and dedicated priest".

The trial continues.

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