An inquest heard that a mentally ill neighbor shot and killed a children's author, believing the victim was spreading coronavirus for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Alex Sartain, 34, shot James Nash, 42, in the front garden of his home in Upper Enham, Hampshire, on Aug. 5 with a homemade double-barrelled shotgun.

BBC said Mr. Nash wrote and illustrated several children's books, such as "The Winter Wild."

According to the Winchester inquest, the parish councilor was repeatedly stamped on the back, causing fatal head injuries.

Mr. Sartain died later that day after colliding with his motorcycle while being pursued by cops. On Wednesday, an inquest into his death will be held.

Mr. Nash died at Southampton General Hospital three days later.

Mr. Nash had deflected the gunshot with his left hand, according to a post mortem examination, and he died from multiple blunt force injuries.

Mr. Sartain had "concerns" that Mr. Nash worked for Putin, according to the inquest.

Mr. Sartain's father, John, testified at the hearing that his son had a problem with Mr. Nash, who came to their house regularly.

"He was always on about James Nash, saying that James Nash had something to do with Putin and the spread of COVID-19," his father said.

Mr. Nash, who had previously served as a graphic designer for the aerospace company Airbus, was suspected by John's son to be involved in a plot with Boeing and NASA.

Mr. Sartain also claimed he was being followed by the "CIA, MI6 and SO19," according to the hearing.

"Over the past few years, Alex Sartain's mental health really started to deteriorate," said Sartain's brother, Scott. The brother added that Alex would often stay in his room talking to himself, talking of people from space and government agencies spying on him.

According to the inquest, Mr. Sartain was arrested under the Mental Health Act in September 2019 before being released in April 2020.

Sarah Nash, Mr. Nash's widow, testified at the hearing that she was on a video call when she heard the gunshot and raised voices and dashed to find Mr. Sartain stamping on her husband's head.

"He [asked] me what I was going to do to compensate him for the loss of income and livelihood that he had suffered [and] that I knew exactly what was going on," Sarah said.

Coroner Jason Pegg said Mr. Sartain's health worsened after he was released from the hospital into community care. Hence, his father contacted the NHS out-of-hours service in June with his concerns.

Mr. Sartain's GP surgery, Adelaide Medical Surgery in Andover, received a record of the contact, he said. But it was only filed and not brought to his GP's attention.

Following a change of management, Mr. Pegg said the policies at the practice have been modified to prevent this from happening again.

"Alex Sartain in his mind believed and had suspicions that James Nash worked for President Putin and NASA, Mr. Pegg wrote in his verdict of unlawful killing. Mr. Pegg added James Nash was in some way in charge of him.

7th March 1968: Squadron Leader V A Robins examining photographs of a Soviet spy trawler taken by the RAF during a reconnaissance flight over the Atlantic. Central Press/Getty Images

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