Wood Green man who harassed Princess Diana’s butler escapes hospital detention

07:00 13 May 2012

Slav Mitev arrives at Chester Crown Court

Slav Mitev arrives at Chester Crown Court

PA Wire/Press Association Images

A mentally-ill Wood Green man who harassed Princess Diana’s former butler has avoided being detained in hospital.

Slav Mitev, 50, claimed to have kidnapped Paul Burrell’s wife, threatened to assassinate the ex-butler and set fire to his Cheshire flower shop in a series of phone calls made in June last year.

He also implied he would kill Mr Burrell’s adult sons and brother.

The Bulgarian national was found unfit to plead at a criminal trial earlier this year.

This meant he could not be jailed despite the fact a jury found the case against him proved.

He could, however, be detained in hospital.

But Judge Elgan Edwards ruled out such a move after considering the latest medical evidence put forward by the defence.

Speaking at Chester Crown Court, Judge Edwards said: “The new medical information rather casts doubt on the necessity or propriety of a hospital order.

“It seems to me that by the same token an absolute discharge is not appropriate.

“He has caused very considerable distress to Mr Burrell, not least he had to give evidence before the court.

“Your client is clearly not well mentally but I think an absolute discharge is stretching the court’s generosity too far.”

He ordered a report to be carried out by Haringey’s social services which, along with “some mental health input”, will form the basis of a supervision order.

This will be imposed at a future hearing on a date to be fixed, the court heard.

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