A PROBE has been launched into how a patient was allowed to walk out of a psychiatric hospital two days before brutally killing his best friend.
David Reid had told family members and professionals about his delusions that “demons” were trying to harm him in the days before he stabbed Mark Johnston more than 120 times.
He was admitted to Royal Cornhill Hospital, in Aberdeen, but, despite the warnings, doctors decided the troubled 46-year-old was not ill enough to be detained for urgent treatment.
He phoned his sister less than 48 hours after being discharged to confess that he had stabbed his friend to death in his flat in Broughty Ferry.
Reid was acquitted of murder at the High Court in Livingston last week after the prosecution accepted that he was “not criminally responsible for his actions by reason of mental disorder”.
The court heard he answered the door to police who arrived at his flat on Nursery Road, Broughty Ferry, on October 20 last year covered in blood. Mr Johnston was lying dead in a large pool of blood on the living room floor.
Reid told police: “I feel terrible. The Devil told me I had two hours to stab him.
“He was my only friend. I can’t believe what I’ve done. I stabbed him. What will his family think?”
Reid warned a psychiatric nurse in Dundee that he was “receiving messages from God”.
A decision was taken to admit him to hospital and two NHS Tayside staff then escorted him in a taxi to Aberdeen because no psychiatric beds were available locally.
He was able to discharge himself shortly after admission after a consultant decided he did not meet the criteria for compulsory treatment.
Judge Lady Rae questioned how Reid, who has now been detained in the State Hospital at Carstairs, Lanarkshire, had been able to leave the psychiatric unit in Aberdeen.
She said she expected the Crown Office to get a report from the local health board and hold a criminal investigation into the circumstances.
She said: “I don’t prejudge things, but a man who is sufficiently ill to be accompanied by two members of staff to a psychiatric hospital clearly has a history.”
Advocate depute Brian Robertson told the court: “The Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit (SFIU) will in due course receive a report from the NHS in relation to the decision made.