A KILLER who once kicked a Kidderminster man to death in a row over money was back in court for an attack on a 70-year-old woman and for "cutting grass with a pair of a scissors" in front of a police officer.

Karl Hardwick, who has a conviction for manslaughter, appeared at Worcester Crown Court on Friday over videolink from HMP Hewell for a series of strange and violent incidents in Worcester, including cutting grass with a pair of scissors in Warndon.

The 37-year-old, of no fixed abode, was due to be sentenced for assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Worcestershire Royal Hospital on January 18 this year and for a string of offences in April.

Those offences include battery against a 70-year-old woman, ABH against another woman, using violence to enter the woman’s flat, and criminal damage.

Kidderminster Shuttle: Hardwick cut the grass with scissors on Chedworth Drive. Photo from Google MapsHardwick cut the grass with scissors on Chedworth Drive. Photo from Google Maps

At the same hearing, he admitted carrying a bladed article on September 22 last year – a pair of scissors - in Chedworth Drive in Warndon, Worcester.

Simon Burch, prosecuting, said: “It’s clear there’s some peculiar features of the offence, not least the bladed article which are scissors used by the defendant to cut grass in the presence of the officer.”

Twenty years ago, the former drug addict, then 17, kicked Kidderminster father-of-four Thomas O’Brien to death following a row over money outside St Paul’s Hostel after knocking out some of the victim’s teeth two days earlier.

He was sentenced to eight years' youth custody in 2000 after admitting being one of two teenagers who killed Mr O'Brien.

Hardwick was then sentenced to 22 weeks in prison at Worcester Magistrates Court last January after making threats which breached a suspended sentence he was given in September 2017 for assaulting police constable Deborah Manson in the execution of her duty.

Judge Nicholas Cole said of the new charges: “These are offences which, taken together, cross the custody threshold. The defendant has a significant antecedent history including an offence of manslaughter when he was aged 17.”

Sam Lamsdale, defending, said her client had been "anxious to be sentenced" and said his mental health had deteriorated again while in custody.

She applied to adjourn the case for a further psychiatric report to see whether the doctor recommends a section 37 or 41 hospital order and whether there may be a bed available at a clinic.

The judge said a previous assessment by another doctor found the defendant’s presentation did not warrant an urgent transfer to hospital but accepted this was before Hardwick’s mental health had deteriorated.

There had also been discussions about Hardwick being assessed to see if he suffers from schizophrenia and treated at HMP Birmingham. However, the defendant is now at HMP Hewell and was never transferred for an assessment while at Birmingham.

Mrs Lamsdale said a letter was sent by the doctor to the Birmingham prison but "it seems that it was never acted upon" and there hadn't yet been any formal assessment.

Kidderminster Shuttle: Karl Hardwick appeared at Worcester Crown Court on Friday over videolink from HMP HewellKarl Hardwick appeared at Worcester Crown Court on Friday over videolink from HMP Hewell

The solicitor said he had been admitted to the mental health unit at Worcester on five separate occasions in 18 months.

Judge Cole said it was "unfortunate this application [to adjourn] is made today when this is listed for plea and sentence", but Mrs Lamsdale said this reflected a change in her client’s instructions.

Judge Cole, who described the defendant as "acting strangely" with the scissors, agreed to adjourn the case until a report determines Hardwick's possible schizophrenia diagnosis. The court heard how the defendant had experienced features of psychosis and hallucinations.

The probation service is due to interview Hardwick in prison on September 16 to prepare a pre-sentence report. In the meantime, the defendant has been remanded in custody.