Mum killed friend by stabbing her 16 times on walk home

Josephine Carroll, 29, was acquitted of murder because she was 'mentally ill at the time'.

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A woman killed her friend after stabbing her 16 times as they walked down a lane in the early hours of the morning.

Josephine Carroll, 29, repeatedly stabbed Catherine Campbell, 39, with a knife in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, on July 25, 2020.

On Thursday at the High Court in Glasgow, Carroll was found not guilty of murdering mum-of-two Ms Campbell because she was mentally ill at the time.

Judge Lady Stacey formally acquitted Carroll of the charge and ordered her to be detained in a secure unit on an interim compulsion order.

The court heard, in the lead up to the killing, concerns were raised about mum-of-one Carroll who was sectioned in June 2020 under the metal health act due to a “psychotic episode” and “delusional beliefs”.

Her mental health appeared to improve, although she claimed to see bones and babies’ skin, but it was decided she did not required hospitalisation.

The court heard Carroll and Ms Campbell went to a friend’s house and left at 5am.

As they walked down a lane, Carroll grabbed Ms Campbell by the hair exposing her neck.

Prosecutor Lynsey MacDonald said that suddenly Carroll launched an attack on her friend.

Ms MacDonald added: “Carroll was seen kicking her and making a punching motion while she was on the ground.”

A 999 call was made and police found a red knife near to Ms Campbell, who was unconscious.

She suffered wounds to her scalp, face and neck, and upper body.

She was pronounced dead at 5.43am and her cause of death was “incised wounds to head and neck”. Carroll was later arrested.

Defence counsel Donald Findlay QC said: “This was demonstrably a sad and tragic case as these always are.

“The question is now, what becomes of Josephine Carroll.

“Anyone involved with her has noted a general improvement in her condition 

“I would suggest an interim order that will keep her where she is as this will allow a further evaluation and the court can then make a final determination.

“She knows there will be no fixed term and the practice isn’t to jail her but to prepare her to return to society.”

Judge Stacey told Carroll, who appeared via a video link, that the interim order was imposed to “take care of her medical condition and manage it which is in the public interest”.

The case was deferred until May.

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