Warehouse worker admits killing stranger who was ‘minding his own business’ outside Sussex playground

Vladimir Ivanov admitted killing Glyn Rouse in Crawley. Picture: Sussex Police
Vladimir Ivanov admitted killing Glyn Rouse in Crawley. Picture: Sussex Police

A warehouse worker killed a stranger who was ‘out walking and minding his own business’ in a random stabbing attack.

Vladimir Ivanov, 23, pleaded guilty today to the manslaughter of 61-year-old Glyn Rouse part way through his trial, police confirmed.

The trial began on Monday but ended when Ivanov pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Pictures: Peter Cripp

The trial began on Monday but ended when Ivanov pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Pictures: Peter Cripp

Paramedics treated Mr Rouse as he lay injured in Cherry Lane in Crawley, but were unable to save him.

During the trial psychiatrists decided it was likely he was suffering from mental illness at the time of the killing, and it was because of this that a plea to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility was accepted.

MORE FROM THE TRIAL: ‘Emotionless’ man covered in blood was spotted near scene of fatal Crawley stabbing, court hears

Ivanov, of Juniper Road, will be sentenced early next year.

Jurors were shown a small knife found in the area

Jurors were shown a small knife found in the area

Vladimir Ivanov used a kitchen knife to stab Glyn Rouse in an unprovoked attack in broad daylight on November 28, 2017, police said.

The incident occurred on a footpath close to the playground in Cherry Lane shortly before 10.30am.

Mr Rouse, who lived in nearby Rushetts Place, was discovered by passers-by with serious wounds to his neck, head, chest and left arm.

Despite the best efforts of emergency services, he was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

Police at the scene of the crime last year

Police at the scene of the crime last year

Ivanov was arrested in the area shortly afterwards by officers who were on route to assist, police said.

He was covered in blood and had a wound to his left hand, believed to have been sustained during the attack.

During police interview, he told officers he took a knife from his home and placed it in his jacket pocket as he went jogging in Cherry Lane that morning.

There were a number of other people in the area at the time, including Mr Rouse.

However, without any prior interaction with anyone, Ivanov attacked Mr Rouse, police said.

When questioned by police he said “something in my mind told me to do this”.

He added that he did not know what his intention was for taking the knife, but said that it was not normal for him to do this, according to officers.

The two men were not previously known to each other.

Ivanov was subsequently charged with murder and remanded in custody.

He was subject to assessments by psychiatrists working on behalf of the defence and prosecution in the intervening period. The results of the those assessments led to the murder trial.

However, during the trial, there were fresh concerns over Ivanov’s mental health.

He was reassessed by the same psychiatrists and they came to the same conclusion that on the balance of probabilities, it was more likely than not that he was suffering from such mental illness at the time of the attack and that he had a defence to murder by diminished responsibility.

On that basis, the prosecution accepted a guilty plea to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and the trial concluded today.

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Ashcroft, of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, who led the investigation, said: “I would like to extend my sympathies to the victim’s family and friends.

“Mr Rouse had been out walking and minding his own business that morning when he was subjected to an unbelievable, highly unusual, unprovoked attack.

“Tragically, the wounds he sustained proved to be fatal and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Ivanov fled the scene of his crime and was witnessed making attempts to flag down a number of passing motorists in the area before he was arrested shortly afterwards.

“His motive for killing an innocent man who was unknown appears to be borne from the mental state of the offender.

“Ivanov only moved to the UK from Bulgaria a couple of months previously, and he appeared to be settled at an address in Crawley and was employed with a local delivery firm.”

Ivanov will be sentenced at the same court, provisionally on Friday, February 1, 2019, following reports on the treatment and assessment of him.