Paul Franks: Booze-fuelled Sheffield paedophile who killed fellow inpatient at Rotherham hospital is jailed
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Sheffield Crown Court heard on June 9 how convicted paedophile Paul Franks, aged 48, of Cinderhill Lane, at Norton, Sheffield, rushed at fellow-inpatient Paul Reed on a ward at Rotherham District General Hospital before putting him in a headlock and dropping him to the floor where he smashed his head.
Prosecuting barrister Richard Thyne QC said 48-year-old Mr Reed and another inpatient had been unsettled on their shared ward when Franks absconded and bought three bottles of vodka and returned with one which was taken from him by security staff.
Mr Thyne added that a nurse saw Franks rush at Mr Reed and put his head and neck into an arm lock and drop him to the floor, smashing his head and causing him to fall unconscious.
The defendant also pushed the other inpatient to the floor and Mr Reed was helped by staff but his condition deteriorated and a CT scan showed he had bleeding on the brain and he died the following morning.
Judge Peter Kelson QC told Franks: “You clearly consumed alcohol before returning to the hospital and not very long thereafter you lost your temper with Mr Reed and one other and you had Mr Reed in a headlock and dropped him to the floor causing him to sustain a head injury from which he died.”
Franks pleaded guilty to manslaughter after the attack on Mr Reeds on February 12 and his subsequent death in the early hours of the following day.
Mr Thyne said Franks has 16 previous convictions for 28 offences including assaults, theft, harassment, two counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and two counts of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.
The court heard Franks had also breached the community order which had been imposed for the sex offences
Mr Reed had been admitted to hospital with alcohol withdrawal problems, delerium and diarrhoea, according to Mr Thyne, and Franks had been admitted to hospital with a condition similar to dementia which is caused by alcohol consumption.
Paul Reed’s father, Glynn Reed, stated: “We cannot express how Paul’s death has impacted me and my wife Linda, how we can do justice to it and put it into words, how Paul’s death affects us on a daily basis.”
Mr Reed added Paul Reed had only just come off a high-dependency unit and they had hoped he would be getting better.
He said: “Our biggest regret is that Paul went into hospital to get better but he never got out.”
Mr Reed added: “Paul was a gentle soul and had a kind heart and he was never malicious and his personal issues never affected others.”
He also said: “We have suffered the biggest loss a parent can. How can we ever be the same knowing our son is not here?”
Paul Reed’s father also stressed their family feels let down after they questioned how their son was placed in a position where he could not be protected with someone like Paul Franks on the same ward.
Defence barrister Francis Edusei, representing Franks, said the defendant had started drinking alcohol again after the loss of his mother in February 2021, and he had checked himself into hospital with physical illness following alcohol consumption.
Mr Edusei added: “He deeply regrets his actions that day – that he caused Mr Reed. He asked me – specifically for me – to say that in open court, so that Mr Reed’s family can hear.”
Mr Edusei added Franks’ actions were not planned and they had been brief and he had been disinhibited by alcohol.
Judge Kelson, who stressed the incident had not been a fight, sentenced Franks to eight years of custody.
He told Franks: “You simply lost your temper having taken drink and you did what you did. No sentence I can pass can bring Paul Reed back.”