Teenage Army Cadet’s Mother Describes ‘Happy Family’ Before Stepfather’s Brutal Killing

Southampton, United Kingdom – The trial of a 22-year-old man accused of murdering his stepfather, Dr. Barry Hounsome, continues at Southampton Crown Court. The accused, Vladimir Ivashikin, was just 16 years old when he brutally attacked Dr. Hounsome with a hammer, knife, and electric drill in 2018, claiming that ‘voices’ commanded him to carry out the heinous act. Ivashikin, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, has pleaded not guilty to murder but has admitted to manslaughter due to diminished responsibility.

During the trial, jurors heard a statement from Ivashikin’s mother, Natalia Hounsome, who described her son as a ‘normal teenager’ before the incident. She spoke of her son’s seemingly good relationship with Dr. Hounsome, referring to the victim as a ‘role model’ to Ivashikin. The mother revealed that the two would often spend time together visiting museums and engaging in shared activities like shooting.

Natalia Hounsome, a Russian health economics lecturer in the UK, expressed that her son had never shown signs of mental health issues prior to the tragic event. Despite Ivashikin’s admission of guilt in the manslaughter of Dr. Hounsome, his mother attested to the close bond between her son and stepfather, detailing their shared interests and interactions.

After initially being found not guilty of murder in 2019 and receiving treatment at Ravenswood House Hospital, Ivashikin later admitted to fabricating symptoms in order to be transferred to a different ward. This revelation led to his re-arrest in January 2023 and subsequent recharging with murder. The accused maintains that his earlier statements about fabricating symptoms were false, and he has since pleaded guilty to manslaughter. The trial, which now involves discussions of Ivashikin’s mental health, is ongoing.

Dr. Barry Hounsome, a former health science expert at the University of Southampton, tragically lost his life in the attack by his stepson. The case continues to raise questions about mental health awareness and the complexities of adolescent psychiatric conditions. As the trial unfolds, the court will examine further evidence and testimonies to determine Ivashikin’s culpability in the murder of Dr. Hounsome.