MULTIPLE murderer Steven Grieveson’s responsibility for killing a schoolboy may have been reduced because of a mental disability, a court has heard.
The 42-year-old serial killer, serving three life sentences for the murder of David Hanson, 15, Thomas Kelly, 18, and David Grieff, 15, in the early 1990s has been interviewed by psychiatrists to assess his mental state.
Grieveson has admitted he killed Simon Martin in 1990, but he denies murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
He is being tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court. Consultant forensic psychiatrist Professor Nigel Eastman yesterday told jurors he – and fellow expert professor Donald Grubin – agree that Grieveson has an “abnormality of mind”.
But the court heard the two experts disagree on whether that reduced his responsibility for what he did to Simon.
Professor Eastman told jurors: “My view is the disabilities are such as they lay a foundation for the jury properly to conclude there was an impairment of mental responsibility.
“Professor Grubin does not agree that there was any degree of impairment of responsibility because the defendant could exercise willpower and control his actions in accordance with rational judgement.
“Professor Grubin’s view is that the personality traits explain his behaviour but do not impair his responsibility for it.
“He was able to decide whether to kill or not, being aware you should not do so and failed to stop himself.”
Grieveson was convicted of the murders of David Hanson, Thomas Kelly and David Grieff after a trial at Leeds Crown Court in 1996.
He had strangled his victims and then burned their bodies in a bid to cover his tracks after the killing spree in 1993 and 1994.
Simon’s body was found a week after he went missing in May 1990.
Grieveson claimed during an interview with detectives last year that he had accidentally killed Simon while trying to keep him quiet about the fact he had sexually abused the 14-year-old.
* The trial continues