By Steve Morris
A court has heard how artist Brett Ewins, who has worked for publications such as 2000AD, Vertigo and his own magazine Deadline, was arrested in January on a charge of grievous bodily harm. The hearing is ongoing. As reported in the London Evening Standard today, the prosecution have now described the night in detail to the court. According to their report, two police officers investigating a separate incident in London, where Ewins lives, entered his residence after hearing “shouting and ranting” from inside the property. Upon entering they found Ewins in his kitchen, allegedly wielding a four-inch kitchen knife.
Prosecution states that the two officers pepper-sprayed Ewins and struck him on twice on the arm and once on the head, at which point he attempted to stab one of the officers in the neck. The officer protected himself with his arm, although the blow was so strong that the knife was allegedly embedded in the man’s arm “up to the handle”. The other officer then forcibly restrained Ewins, who subsequently suffered a cardiac arrest outside the property. He was given CPR by paramedics at the scene, after which he was taken to hospital where he remained in recovery for three weeks.
Ewins, a much-admired figure in the British comics community, was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia 25 years ago after suffering a breakdown, and takes medication for his condition. When interviewed, he said that he was entirely unable to recall the incident, and the defence are expected to say that the blow to the head sent him into “a state of unconsciousness similar to sleepwalking”. This differs from a defence of insanity, as will be explained by an expert witness for the defence at the trial. As a result of the cardiac arrest, Ewins is now unable to stand unaided, and according to his friend and colleague Tony Wright, has been in poor health since.
For more about Ewins, you can find an excellent look at his career and art on the Forbidden Planet website.
The trial continues.