A KILLER who once kicked a dad 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 Chedworth Drive, Warndon.

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

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

At the same hearing he admitted having an article with a blade or point on September 22 last year – a pair of scissors - in Chedworth Drive, 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.”

We have previously reported how the former drug addict, then 17, kicked 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 just two days before.

He was sentenced to eight years' youth custody in 2000 after admitting being one of two teenagers who killed the Kidderminster man.

Hardwick was sentenced to 22 weeks in prison at Worcester Magistrates Court last January after making threats which breached his Criminal Behaviour Order and 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’ but she had now taken further instructions that 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 that the defendant’s presentation did not warrant an urgent transfer to hospital but accepted this was before Hardwick’s mental health had deteriorated. There have also been discussions about Hardwick being assessed to see if he suffers from schizophrenia and treated on ward two at HMP Birmingham. However, the defendant is now in HMP Hewell and was never transferred to the ward for an assessment while an inmate 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 has, as yet, been any formal assessment.

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

The probation service are due to interview Hardwick in prison on September 16 to prepare a pre-sentence report in any event.

In the meantime the defendant was remanded in custody.

Judge Cole, who described the defendant as ‘acting strangely’ with the scissors, agreed to adjourn the case for a further report to see whether there is a diagnosis of schizophrenia because of features of psychosis and hallucinations.

He ordered the report to be prepared by November 6 and set the sentencing date for November 13.

In the meantime the defendant was remanded in custody.