A man grieving the death of his wife daubed “I love you” in blood on a church wall as he attacked parishioners during a violent rampage.
Malcolm Holland, 56, armed himself with a meat cleaver and a lock knife before launching the attack at St Barnabas Church in St Paul’s Cray, near Orpington, in Kent, last July.
Holland, who had a history of mental illness before the death of his wife, said to his victims: “My wife was taken away from me, where was your God?”
A judge yesterday spared him a prison sentence, deciding instead to section him under the Mental Health Act.
Nicholas Dunham, prosecuting, said Holland, wearing a Halloween mask, began the attack by damaging windows and assaulting the rector’s husband.
Shouting “My wife died of cancer and you did nothing about it”, he smashed up two cars parked outside the rector’s house and then broke the glass in the church front door, causing members of local ladies’ barbershop chorus to barricade themselves inside a hall.Bursting through to get at them, Holland assaulted two women.
Holland was eventually wrestled to the ground by neighbour Stephen Izegbu.