Hospital treatment order for killer son

James Gether - killed his mum
James Gether - killed his mum
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A TROUBLED teenager who clubbed his mum to death with a baseball bat has been committed to a secure hospital while medics decide whether he needs an extended period of psychiatric treatment.

James Gethen, aged 16, battered his 39-year-old mum Ann at their home on Beever Street, Goldthorpe, Barnsley, in a savage attack the day after she announced her engagement to her partner last August.

Sheffield Crown Court had heard Gethen suffers from personality and behavioural disorders - said to stem from a bout of meningitis he suffered as a baby.

Gethen, aged 15 at the time, killed his mother in the living room, striking several blows to her head with the bat.

She died almost immediately.

The court heard two doctors thought Gethen should be given a hospital order.

In a report, Professor Susan Bailey said he had been difficult from an early age and displayed sexually abusive behaviour towards girls.

Gethen tried to strangle a fellow school pupil with a shoelace in 2009, and he was expelled for bullying and fighting other youngsters.

The teenager appeared in court dressed in a dark suit and white shirt, accompanied by three grown-ups.

He has admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Judge Mr Justice Openshaw made an interim hospital order, committing Gethen to the Roycroft Clinic at St Nicholas Hospital in Newcastle-upon-Tyne for 12 weeks of treatment.

“It may be appropriate for a hospital order to be made in due course,” he said.

“Before finally coming to that decision, it’s plainly desirable that he is taken to be treated at the clinic.”

Gethen deteriorated when his dad Eric died of cancer aged 72 in 2009. The court previously heard he still hears his dead parents’ voices.

Michael Smith, prosecuting, said the ‘highly abnormal’ youth was ‘capable of homicide’. His criminal record included harassing his half-sister and damaging an OAP’s window.

Gethen will be sentenced or have his interim order extended in October.