Friday, 26 October 2012

Brett Ewins Released

I just got off the phone with former Deadline publisher Tom Astor who told me some good news about 2000 AD artist and Deadline co-founder Brett Ewins. For some of you who have been following this tragic story, Brett was arrested after stabbing a policeman during a psychotic episode (he is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia) The whole event was overly sensationalised in the Daily Malice and better explained  here.

The good news is that Brett is out of prison, as of this afternoon. He has been found guilty of the lesser assault charge (Instead of GBH), and is awaiting sentencing. However, the judge has released him on a form of bail. Having served 9 months on remand, partly unconscious in hospital, and the rest in a standard jail (where he shouldn't have been), it is extremely unlikely that he'll return to prison, as that will count as time served.

Brett is back on medication and under psychiatric care for the forseeable future, and will now hopefully be able to start rebuilding his life again after this terrible incident. I can't go into the details of an ongoing case, but it's my understanding that poor medical provision was the major cause of Brett's breakdown, and this is being investigated.

Tom Astor, Peter Milligan, Alan McKenzie were all in the court at the time.

I know that many people who personally know Brett, or simply love his art, will want to wish him all the best for a speedy recovery. Please spread the good news.


Dave M! said...

Sorry, but I can't justify "stabbing a policeman during a psychotic episode" with "shouldn't have been standard jail". I like Brett's work, but jails are full of people who had reasons. People who stab people should be in jail.

Why is there a social exception for artists? If a plumber stabs a great cartoonist, would the plumber receive this same sympathy… especially from the comic book press?

TimTrue said...

I think if the plumber had serious mental health issues then yes, they would get my sympathy and they shouldn't be in jail either, but in a secure hospital unit.

My concern is that your attitude appears to be "He's obviously a nutter, bang him up and throw away the key." Locking people up because they have mental health problems is a very Victorian mindset. I'd imagine you'd like the prisons to charge and we could go and visit them, like the bad old days of Bedlam?

Brett's problems were compounded, I believe, by poor medical support, which led to this incident. I'm not justifying anyone attacking a policeman (I have a few family friends who are coppers) but this must be taken in context. Imagine suffering from paranoid delusional fantasies about authoritarianism (as Brett explored in his graphic anthology, The Dark Gate: and then suddenly the police turn up at your doorstep. That's enough to tip any schizophrenic over the edge.

Do you actually know Brett? If you do, you'd know that he is the quietest, gentlest bloke you'd meet and this incident was completely out of character.

Again, not justifying what happened, just understanding the circumstances. The less judgemental society is, the better we'll all be.