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Headís relief as attacker jailed

Reporter: Marina Berry
Date online: 10 February 2014

A MAN who repeatedly stabbed a headteacher with a screwdriver in a frenzied attack has been detained indefinitely in a secure hospital.

The order was made at Manchester Crown Court on Friday, when his relieved victim Gillian Kay was in court to hear the outcome.

Gillian, the 40-year-old head teacher of Propps Hall Primary School, Failsworth, was attacked on the driveway of her home in Shaw Road, Thornham, by paranoid schizophrenic Mark Pierson.

Pierson (48) from Rochdale was judged unfit to stand trial due to his mental illness. The jury, asked to decide whether he had attempted to kill Mrs Kay, wasn’t satisfied he had attempted murder. Members unanimously concluded he had committed grievous bodily harm.

Mrs Kay said afterwards it had drawn a line under her ordeal: “If he is ever released it will have to go back through the courts. That makes me feel miles better. If he is ever thought fit he will stand trial for attempted murder.

“A lot of things came out in court on Friday that haven’t been brought up before: he has a history of violence. He appeared in court in 2010 after he tried to run me over. He was given two years of mental health treatment by the court and I was terrified there would be a similar outcome this time.”

“I wasn’t happy the charge was changed from attempted murder to grievous bodily harm. He had a note in his pocket saying what he was going to do. My fear was he could be out walking the streets again in five or six years, but now it looks like that is very unlikely to happen.”


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