Dad’s loving tribute to his son

Ryan Carruthers
Ryan Carruthers

The dad of a Knottingley musician who was brutally knifed to death by a paranoid schizophrenic has spoken of the terrible tragedy.

Michael Carruthers paid tribute to his son Ryan, 31, who was killed by Simon John Stewart in Normanton last April.

Simon Stewart has admitted the manslaughter of Ryan Carruthers

Simon Stewart has admitted the manslaughter of Ryan Carruthers

Mr Carruthers said: The tragic loss of Ryan has left a void for all that knew him and the events that led to his death have been hard to come to terms with.

“His smile and sense of humour would always be a welcome sight. Ryan was the most considerate son and brother anyone could ask for.

“Ryan went to Castleford High School, had a big love and knowledge of music and art. He was a quiet lad who would take people as he found them. This has been a tragedy with many lives affected for all concerned.”

Stewart, 22, was detained under the Mental Health Act last Thursday after admitting manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Leeds Crown Court heard how he inflicted 28 separate wounds on Ryan Carruthers, 31, after a chance meeting in Normanton market place last April.

The court heard how Mr Carruthers, of Knottingley, and two others went back Stewart’s flat in Smirthwaite View where drink and drugs were taken by some.

The others left the two men chatting in the kitchen in the early hours of Saturday, April 14. But 45 minutes later Stewart started making a series of 999 calls. He said: “I’m going to stab him, see you later.”

Prosecutor Simon Waley said a neighbour later saw Stewart punching and kicking the prone victim on the balcony, saying: “I told you I’m going to kill you,” and asking, “Are you dead yet?”

Police arrived seven minutes later but Stewart, who was holding two large knives, said: “The next person who comes up here is going to get it too.”

He then started hurling a vacuum cleaner and other items at them. The police helicopter and firearms officers were also sent to the scene.

The court heard how Stewart further attacked Mr Stewart on the balcony but it is believed many of the injuries were inflicted after death and before he was taken out on the balcony.

Stewart told police before the stand-off ended peacefully: “He’s dead. I told you I wanted to be in Fieldhead (psychiatric hospital) but you put me in this flat - your fault.”

Judge Guy Kearl QC, imposed a hospital order and placed restrictions on any future release, adding: “It’s plain to me you are dangerous to the public if left at large.”