BIRMINGHAM, England, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- A schizophrenic homeless man was sentenced to at least 12 years in prison Tuesday for killing two newspaper sellers in Birmingham, England.
Mrs. Justice Kathryn Thirwall, who described John Ward, 23, as "an exceptionally dangerous man," The Guardian reported. She gave him a life sentence and warned him that even though she set a minimum of 12 years without release he could remain in prison until he dies.
Ward stabbed Wayne Busst, 32, and Ian Watson-Gladwish, 31, as they sold the Big Issue, a newspaper about the homeless in January. He said later that voices in his head ordered the killing.
John Bird, the founder of the Big Issue, said he has taken steps to make involvement in the newspaper safer. Those include training some homeless to provide content and finding safer places to sell the Big Issue, like shopping centers.
Bird blamed recent cuts in mental health services for an increase in violence.
"Life on the street is getting more dangerous," he told the Guardian. "The streets are filling up with people who would have been treated within a mental health environment in the past."