CASEY-LYANNE KEARNEY MURDER TRIAL: Accused begged to be detained in hospital, court hears

Hannah Bonser, by Court Artist Julia Quenzler (above) and (below) Casey-Lyanne Kearney
Hannah Bonser, by Court Artist Julia Quenzler (above) and (below) Casey-Lyanne Kearney

A WOMAN accused of murdering a teenager in a Doncaster park had turned up at hospital begging to be admitted just weeks before the incident, a court heard.

Sheffield Crown Court heard Hannah Bonser, who is accused of stabbing 13-year-old Casey Kearney to death on Valentine’s Day, had told medics she believed she was a danger to others.

Casey Kearney

Casey Kearney

Jurors were told Bonser, 26, arrived at Doncaster Royal Infirmary with a bag of belongings on Sunday, January 8, just five weeks before the Elmfield Park attack took place.

Graham Reeds QC, prosecuting, said: “She was saying she needed to be locked up, because she had the potential to harm others.”

Dr Alexander Shubsachs, the defence’s psychiatric expert, said he believed she had paranoid schizophrenia, meaning she was suffering from diminished responsibility at the time of the attack.

Dr Shubsachs said: “Hannah was almost pleading to be admitted to hospital and appeared to be desperate for some support.

“I believe she was looking for support because she felt unwell and was worried about what she might do.”

Both Mr Reeds and Dr Shubsachs agreed the Doncaster town centre CCTV footage of Bonser from the day of Casey’s murder showed a woman going about her business in a ‘normal’ fashion.

The court heard Bonser, of Cusworth House, St James’ Street, Hyde Park, had been a frequent visitor to the accident and emergency department at Doncaster Royal Infirmary from the age of 16.

On several occasions she had sought treatment for mental health issues, self-harm issues and substance abuse.

She had received anti-psychosis medication in the past, but was taking anti-depressants prescribed by her GP when Casey, of Rossington, was killed.

During cross examination, Mr Reeds argued that, despite having been in regular contact with mental health services for more than a decade, Bonser had never received a formal diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.

Bonser, who wept silently in the dock during proceedings, has claimed to have no recollection of the events of February 14, other than screams and voices in her head.

Mr Reeds said: “We know from her medical records she was fairly used to seeing psychiatrists.

“She speaks of hearing voices, a symptom of paranoid schizophrenia.

“She was a woman who appeared to have presented herself at Doncaster accident and emergency when something was wrong.

“She says she cannot remember anything about the incident but how does that comply with her telling people at Rethink what she had done?”

Dr Shubsachs said: “The reason she cannot remember now might be that she doesn’t want to talk about it.”

Casey, a pupil at McAuley Catholic High School, died in hospital following the attack.

Bonser denies murder.

The trial continues.