Man to be sentenced for stabbing grandparents to death on Boxing Day

Tobyn Salvatore killed Denis and Mary Fell in a knife attack after buying weapons over the internet.

Tobyn Salvatore to be sentenced for stabbing his grandparents to death at their Livingston home on Boxing Day Police Scotland

A man will be sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow on Thursday after he admitted stabbing his grandparents to death on Boxing Day.

Tobyn Salvatore attacked Denis and Mary Fell, both 73, at their home in Livingston, West Lothian, on 20 December, 2021.

He was originally due to stand trial for two counts of murder, but pled guilty in July to lesser charges of culpable homicide due to diminished responsibility.

The 21-year-old said he heard a voice in his head telling him to kill his grandmother and grandfather.

He later told psychiatrists he attributed the voice to the “Woman in Black” – a character from a horror film.

Salvatore told doctors that he believed his grandparents would be returned to life, claiming that a quote from the Bible that “all of your dead loved ones will be resurrected” had been in his mind at the time.

The High Court at Livingston was told earlier this year that Salvatore bought two knives over the internet two months before the incident.

He used the blades to injure his grandparents after they had a row over a Christmas hamper he had taken up to his room.

Mrs Fell’s hand was severed as she tried to defend herself. Mr Fell suffered fatal stab wounds after he tried to take the knife from his grandson.

The two 73-year-olds died from wounds to their necks.

Police officers who forced entry to the couple’s home found Mr Fell’s body lying in the hallway – his wife was found lying in the living room.

Salvatore legally changed his name from Jay Fell in 2016.

Donald Findlay KC, defending, said a psychiatrist who examined him had been “very clearly of the view that this was undoubtedly a case of diminished responsibility”.

Judge Lord Young imposed an interim compulsion order confining Salvatore to the State Hospital while a further psychiatric report is prepared pending Thursday’s sentencing hearing in Edinburgh.

He told the accused: “You have pleaded guilty to the culpable homicide of your grandparents who appear to have provided you with a loving caring home.

“The Crown have accepted that your mental state at the time was such that you acted with diminished responsibility. 

“It’s apparent that your treatment is at an early stage. It is continuing and I need to obtain further evidence from the treating psychiatrist and mental health officer before I can decide on disposal.”

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