A jealous boyfriend who killed his partner in a horrific mothers’ day attack should be treated in hospital, a judge has ruled.
Anthony Ross stabbed mum-of-two Melissa Liddle 41 times after becoming convinced she was having an affair.
The 23-year-old’s tragic death has left her grieving family devastated.
Ross, 24, of Oak Avenue, South Shields, admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
His legal team instructed expert psychiatrists who said Ross should be sentenced to a hospital order and receive treatment for a mental disorder.
A prosecution expert said the killer should be punished with a prison sentence.
At Newcastle Crown Court Judge Paul Sloan QC ruled Ross has a mental disorder which makes him suitable for treatment at hospital.
Judge Sloan said: “I am satisfied, that at this stage, the defendant is still suffering from a mental disorder and that the mental disorder which the defendant is suffering is of a nature which makes it appropriate for him to be detained in hospital for treatment.
“It would seem, on the evidence I have heard, that appropriate medical treatment will be available for him.”
Judge Sloan adjourned the case until next month so Ross’s defence team can find him a place at a suitable hospital and have him further assessed.
The judge warned that his ruling is not a final indication of what the sentence will be.
Judge Sloan added: “At this stage, that is my finding. Of course, with the passage of time, things may change.”
Melissa’s body was found in her bed after her worried family kicked in her door when she failed to get in touch on mothers’ day in March, which she had been looking forward to.
Her brother and stepfather made the tragic discovery, while her heartbroken mum listened on the phone.
Melissa left a five-year-old son and another who was just a few months old at the time of her death.
After the hearing, Melissa’s aunt Marilynn Huartt said: “We just can’t believe it.
“Whether it’s a hospital order or a prison sentence, we want whatever is the longest possible sentence there is.
“We are all absolutely devastated and when he wasn’t sentenced on Monday as we were led to believe he would be, it was just a kick in the stomach for us all.
“Now we are having to wait another 28 days - we just want it to be over.”