Early on May 21 last year Glaister Earl Butler?s delusions were crowding in.
In the night he had been heard by neighbours ?shouting incomprehensibly? in his Nechells flat.
The morning was spent practising martial arts with a 14-inch carving knife. He later told psychiatrists he had been ? practising self defence against the police, who might one day come and take him to hospital again?.
Later a council carpenter, Michael Wood, came for a routine job on the front gate. He looked up and just feet away was Butler, brandishing a knife and swearing to kill him.
?He would kill me, cut my head off or do me in,? recalled Mr Wood.
He stumbled but was able to fend off Butler with an iron bar he using to break concrete.
Something changed Butler?s mind about pursuing the workman and he went inside, while neighbours called the police.
Butler went to the shops, carrying the knife, ?no doubt in the expectation he might be arrested,? said Mr Justice Calvert-Smith.
At 1pm, police officers saw him close to his home. ? Unfortunately, tragically, it no doubt awakened the core delusion when one of the officers came to him and asked if he was Earl,? said the judge.
He lunged at police and they used CS gas to stop him, but Butler kept running. Other officers, including Det Con Swindells, who was in plain clothes and had no protective clothing, heard the call for help and joined the chase.
Det Con Swindells sprinted after him and, in the front by two or three feet was handed a baton by another officer, ?rather like a relay race?.
He shouted ?Stop. Police? and Butler turned, slashing the 14-inch carving knife towards him. Det Con Swindells avoided the first stroke but then Butler buried it in the officer?s chest.
Baton rounds were discharged but it was not until officers deployed firearms and told Butler to stop that he put the knife down.
While Butler was taken to Queens Road Police Station in Aston, Det Con Swindells was rushed to City Hospital. He died from a single stab wound which penetrated his heart.
Yesterday, Paul Tonks, chairman of the West Midlands branch of the Police Federation, paid tribute to Det Con Swindells at the Federation?s annual conference in Blackpool.
He said: ?It was obvious from the outset that Butler should never have been in the public domain.?
The investigating officer in the case said Butler was ?clearly a threat to the local community? and said he welcomed the inquiry announced by the Mental Health Trust. Det Chief Inspector Glenn Moss added that the ?free flow of information? between police and other agencies on such matters was vital.
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