Rochdale Man Sentenced After Man's Death

14 November 2011, 17:41

A Rochdale man has been sentenced following the death of another man in the town earlier this year.

41-year-old Lee Berns was sentenced to a hospital order with restrictions at Manchester Crown Court earlier after pleading guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Police were called to the Salvation Army on High Street shortly after 11pm on Sunday 30 January 2011, after reports that a man had been assaulted nearby.

Hostel workers told officers that they had seen 67-year-old Peter Hopwood who lived nearby, attacked by a former resident of the hostel Lee Berns. Berns had then gone to the hostel and assaulted a resident at the entrance, although not as seriously.

Officers then discovered that Mr Hopwood had serious head injuries.

He was taken to hospital but died from his injuries the following morning.

Lee Berns was arrested at his home shortly after but a doctor deemed him unfit for interview and he was detained under the Mental Health Act and taken to hospital.

Police say he was charged with Peter's murder in June of this year.

Deputy Senior Investigating Officer Vinny Chadwick, based at Greater Manchester Police's Major Incident Team, said:

"This was a completely unprovoked attack on an innocent man who was walking home after a night out at his social club. It was extremely unfortunate that he came across Mr Berns who at the time was suffering from a degree of mental illness.

"Peter lived alone, he had two brothers and a sister and was a well liked regular at the Brickcroft club."

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