Ethan Mountain trial: Teenager who stabbed 62-year-old shop worker to death found not guilty of murder

A teenager who fatally stabbed a shop worker in an unprovoked attacked has been found not guilty of murder.

Ethan Mountain, 19, killed 62-year-old Joan Hoggett as she stacked shelves at the One Stop shop in Fulwell, Sunderland on 5 September 2018.

CCTV footage from the attack showed Mountain enter the store just after 10.30pm wearing a mask and carrying a holdall.

He then produced a knife and repeatedly stabbed the employee, before fleeing the scene, jurors were told at Newcastle Crown Court.

Mountain, from East Boldon, South Tyneside, left behind the bag which contained a hammer, a sheathed samurai sword, machetes and three knives.

Hoggett died in hospital after suffered 29 injuries, including 19 deep stab wounds.

Mountain had previously admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and is due to be sentenced on 22 March.

The court heard that he had been spent three months in a psychiatric hospital in 2017, having suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. He had also been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) at the age of 12.

The defendant told a friend he killed Hoggett because “the voices in his head told him to do it”, jurors were told.

Jurors were directed by a judge to return a not-guilty verdict on Wednesday, Northumbria Police said.

Paying tribute to the victim’s family following the trial, superintendent Paul Milner, of Northumbria Police said: “This was a horrific incident and what further shocked me and the community was the absolute randomness of the attack.”

Additional reporting by PA

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