A ‘manic and deranged’ student who stabbed his mother 11 times before cutting off his penis has been sentenced to 16 months in prison.
Charles Mann, 21, of The Oaks, Haywards Heath, attacked his mother on December 29, 2013, after taking methedrone and cannabis.
He was sentenced at Hove Trial Centre on Monday after pleading guilty to grievous bodily harm.
Mann told his mother, Emma Mann, that he loved her, but alluded to a ‘prophecy’ before stabbing her in the neck, back, head and arms and puncturing her lungs in two places.
After the attack at 6.20am, Emma Mann called 999 and locked herself in the bathroom. She said: “My son has just attacked me.
“He is going mental downstairs with the knives.”
I have stabbed her multiple times, I have killed her, I have stabbed my mum and I need to be punished for what I have done. I don’t want to live, take me to the light, I can see the vampires.
Amy Packham, prosecuting, said Mann told police officers he stabbed his mother.
When they arrived he was covered in blood, and acting ‘manic and deranged’.
The court was told that he said: “I have stabbed her multiple times, I have killed her, I have stabbed my mum and I need to be punished for what I have done. I don’t want to live, take me to the light, I can see the vampires.”
Police then forced entry by smashing a pane of glass.
Mann started to climb out of the window with disregard for the broken glass.
“Police report he seemed to be unresponsive to pain.”
Emma Mann, who chose not to give a statement to police, told a paramedic on the night of the incident that she was woken up by Mann making noise in his room, as if he was ‘trashing’ it.
She went downstairs, and her son followed.
He said to her: “This is the prophecy, I love you but this is the prophecy,” before stabbing her, the court heard.
The night leading to the attack Mann had smoked cannabis, inhaled methedrone, played video games and watched a film with a friend.
The friend described the evening as ‘uneventful’.
Mann was admitted to a psychiatric unit in January 2014, and was remanded in custody on August 8 before being moved to Lewes Prison.
Other than a caution for possession of class A drugs, he has no former convictions.
He had suffered from drug abuse, but had never been violent or experienced episodes of psychosis.
David Etherington QC, representing Mann, said he had a ‘perfectly normal childhood’, has eight GCSEs and is a ‘bright young man’.
“He can only really rationalise it as being a suicide attempt by him in the grip of an illusion,” he said.
“His family are extremely supportive of him, they want the best for him.
“It’s a person who at the time was incredibly mentally unwell.”
He added the defendant had been experiencing ‘drug induced psychosis’, arguing imprisonment would be ‘detrimental to his mental health’.
Mann is having to deal with the ‘shock and horror’ of his actions, the defence added.
Presiding, Judge Rennie said: “If this case is not unique it is certainly exceptional.
“His parents remain loving and supportive.
“Nobody thinks it’s time for him to go home.”
Mann is expected to serve half of his 16 month sentence, and be released in four weeks’ time into the care of Multi-Agency Public Protection Agencies (MAPPA).
“One lesson that might be learned from this tragedy. Young people who take drugs or mix drugs of this sort could have drug induced psychosis,” the judge added.
He said Mann needed support in the community on release, while ensuring protection for the public.
Judge Rennie concluded the defendant’s actions were ‘completely out of character’, occurring during an episode of drug induced psychosis.
Normally in cases of grievous bodily harm with intent, a defendant could be sent to prison for very many years, the court heard.
But the psychosis might have prevented Mann from understanding the consequences of his actions.
Judge Rennie commended Emma Mann for her ‘extraordinary level of love, passion and understanding’ and said most parents would have found the incident hard to forgive.
He added the defendant was lucky to have an ‘extraordinary human being’ as a mother.
“You have conducted yourself with enormous dignity,” he said to Emma Mann.
Mann will have support for drug and alcohol abuse with MAPPA if necessary.
Speaking after the case, Detective Sergeant Dave Springett said: “Charlie suffered a brief psychotic episode on 29 December, during which time he stabbed his mother and severely hurt himself causing himself life changing injuries.
“This has been a very difficult time for Charlie and the Mann family who we hope can now begin to rebuild their lives.”