A VIOLENT man who killed a fellow patient at Rotherham Hospital after absconding to buy booze has been sentenced to eight years in prison.
Paul Franks (48, pictured) killed Paul Reed (47) in an attack in the corridor at the hospital in February, Sheffield Crown Court heard today.
The court was told Franks, of Cinderhill Lane, Sheffield, had a long record of violence dating back to 2009, including convictions for assault, dishonesty, criminal damage, theft and breach of restricting order.
He was also in breach of a community order imposed in 2020 for two attempts of engaging in sexual communication with a child and two attempts of inciting a child.
Mr Richard Thyne QC, prosecuting said Franks and his victim had both been admitted to the hospital due to alcohol dependency-related illnesses.
“On the afternoon of February 12, Paul Franks absconded from the hospital to buy three bottles of vodka from the nearby Tesco,” Mr Thyne said.
“When he returned, one of the bottles was confiscated by a member of staff.
“Mr Reed and another patient were standing in a corridor when the defendant rushed towards Mr Reed.
“He put Mr Reed’s head and neck in a head lock and dropped him on the floor. This caused Mr Reed to fall unconscious.
“Franks hurt another patient while he walked away and was heard saying: ‘I will do it again.’
“Mr Reed had significant bleeding in the brain - a post-mortem examination found he had suffered a large left subdural haemorrhage – and he died the following morning.”
Mr Thyne read a statement from Mr Reed’s father in which he said his son had gone to the hospital to get help but he would “never come out”.
The dad said Mr Reed had never been malicious or a fighter, and he believed he had been attacked.
Mitigating, Mr Francis Edusei said that the attack had been “brief” and there was no evidence that it was planned, and noted Franks had been under the influence of alcohol [during the attack].
Mr Edusei said Franks had been living with his parents and his mother had died, and he had found this “difficult to cope with” and returned to drinking.
In sentencing Franks, who admitted manslaughter, Judge Peter Kelson said: “Your victim Paul Reed had his own problems.
“He was in the hospital seeking help. You left the hospital to buy alcohol and you were clearly intoxicated.
“Later, you lost your temper with Mr Reed and another patient. You put his head in a headlock and dropped him to the floor – from which he died.
“What is clear to me was that it was not a fight.
“Mr Reed was not fighting. You just lost your temper having taken drinks and you did what you did.”
Franks was to six years imprisonment for manslaughter plus two years for the community order breach.