Concern over man obsessed with Jill Dando's death
A mental health patient with an obsession with Jill Dando's murder terrified a woman and her elderly father after walking into their home and ranting at them.
Jason Kerswell, 41, has been banned from approaching strangers after a series of disturbing incidents in which he has terrified pedestrians who he has stopped at random.
Kerswell often wears a Crimestoppers shirt and tells strangers that he is a Neighbourhood Watch volunteer.
A Judge ordered a psychiatric report after hearing how Kerswell walked into a house in Teignmouth left its owner frightened and alarmed by his manic behaviour.
Kerswell, of Captain’s Road, Kingsteignton, admitted two breaches of the Asbo, one at a house in Formosa Road, Teignmouth, and one at the Richard Hopkins pub in Queen Street, Newton Abbot.
Judge Erik Salomonsen, said he found the details of Kerswell’s behaviour concerning and needed to be sure he was cared for safely before he is released.
He remanded him in custody to await an updated probation report with input from the psychiatric services who have been treating him and further details of his care package.
The judge said: ”I am very troubled by this case, even though he has accommodation and mental health support he has offended like this and it is arguable that it is becoming more serious.
“If he is to be released into the community he will need assistance. There have to be safeguards for the community.”
Miss Janice Eagles, prosecuting, said Kerswell was made subject of an ASBO in 2011 but has been in court three times for breaking its conditions, which include not to cause alarm or distress to strangers.
She said the latest victim Susan Law was at home in Teignmouth with her 86-year-old father when they heard Kerswell hammering at a neighbour’s door.
He then walked into their home through the front door which had been left slightly open during the hot weather in July.
Miss Eagles said: ”He was agitated, fidgeting and speaking quickly. His eyes were staring and he was angry. He said he needed to see his brother who lived next door and Mrs Law said he started talking about crazy stuff.
“He made reference to Jill Dando, the television presenter who was murdered and spoke for some 15 minutes. He also said he was a Neighbourhood Watch member.
“He went outside and put his hand on his genitals and looked at Mrs Law and told her she had ‘luscious lips’. She made a personal statement which said she was frightened to go out and his sexualised behaviour towards her made her feel completely disgusted.”
Miss Eagles said in an unrelated incident Kerswell went into the Richard Hopkins pub in Newton Abbot and alarmed customers before threatening the manager when he told him to leave.
He told police he had spoken about Jill Dando because he has in interest in the case.
Mr Nigel Wraith, defending, said Kerswell is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia keen to receive greater support from the mental health services.
He said Kerswell’s mental health had suffered through being in custody for two months and he risked losing his supported accommodation if he was held for much longer.