A paranoid schizophrenic recently admitted to killing his aged grandmother at her care home in Gloucestershire, saying God asked him to do it. After denying his crime initially, 38-year-old Ryan Guest pleaded guilty to the murder of 87-year-old Una Dorney on grounds of reduced responsibility. Dorney was Guest’s step-grandmother from his mother’s side and she reportedly suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. She was killed at Oaktree House in Lake Rise in June this year.
Bristol Crown Court heard that Guest often smothered Dorney with a pillow after hearing voices inside his head, which he believes were those of God, who wanted the aged widow to be killed. Guest also said Dorney had stolen his soul, something he fathomed a day before killing her, when he read a Shakespearean poem about the rape and suicide of a lady.
After killing Dorney, being charged with murder and remanded to HM prison in Bristol, Guest attacked fellow inmate Mohamed Sharif as well, eventually confessing to trying to kill him. Just 38-years-old, Sharif has been left in a vegetative state ever since he suffered several wounds to his head. He now has a life expectancy of only eight to ten years.
The jury also heard that Guest had been a patient at Broadmoor Hospital, after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. According to his psychiatrists, he has been suffering from the condition for close to seven years.
Prosecutor Stephen Mooney said the testimony of three psychiatrists helped the Crown accept Guest’s pleas to two charges. He also explained that Guest had always stayed with his mother and had experienced a long history of social isolation. In 2013, his family started noticing his poor mental health and advised him to seek professional help.
“He told psychiatrists of a significant event when he was caring for Una and as he had lifted her up he felt a pain in his chest and he reported to the doctors that she ’May have taken my soul’,” Mooney said. “The day before the killing he had read Shakespeare’s The Rape of Lucrece and he was to recall that he received a special message from God to kill his grandmother. That meant that he decided to kill her in accordance with the instructions he received.”
The day Dorney was killed, Guest visited her care home but refused to sign in. Staff said they saw Guest sitting on Dorney’s lap, before he fled the scene, which is when they discovered her dead body on the bathroom floor. The police were informed immediately and Guest was arrested near his home soon after.
“She was still alive and he dragged her into the toilet to finish her off,” Mooney said. “He said he had killed her because it was cruel to continue that way and people were walking around like zombies. He thought that killing her was the best thing to do. He didn’t stand to gain anything from her death.”
Additionally, Guest told the jury that he attacked Sharif because he thought Sharif was the Prophet who wanted to curse him.