An inquest regarding a Stapleford man’s death was concluded on Friday. In July of 2009, an elderly grandfather was stabbed to death by his grandson. It was ruled as a result of medical negligence. According to the assistant coroner who worked on the case, the grandfather’s death could have been avoided if mental health professionals and police officers had acted sooner.
It was determined that, between April 16th and July 24th of 2009, there was an unnecessary delay in assessing the grandson under the UK’s Mental Health Act and that police officers unnecessarily delayed arresting the grandson in May of the same year.
Mental health professionals made approximately 29 attempts to visit with the grandson between January and July of 2009. Of these 29 attempts, only 5 were successful in making contact.
In May of 2009, a perpetrator utilized a machete like knife to threaten two individuals during a robbery at a pharmacy in Stapleford where the grandson routinely picked up his medication. Although police knew where to locate him and stated that he was considered a suspect, his arrest was not planned until July. During a legal inquest, the Assistant Chief Constable acknowledged that events should have been conducted differently. He subsequently issued an apology to the family of the victim and the alleged perpetrator recognizing that things could have, and should have, been conducted differently.
The grandson’s arrest was planned for July 24th, which was tragically the same day the young man allegedly killed his grandfather. Despite concerns existing since April, a mental health assessment for the grandson was not requested until July 24th.
The Notts County Council deputy director released the following statement after the inquest’s conclusion:
“We are pleased that the coroner acknowledged that we have introduced a number of significant changes since 2009. These include introducing a dedicated countywide team to carry out mental health assessments.”
In the unlawful killing’s narrative conclusion by law enforcement officials, it was determined that, if the grandson had been detained within an appropriate amount of time, he would not have been at liberty to kill his grandfather.
The Nottingham Healthcare NHS Trust issued a statement offering their sincerest condolences to the family of the victim and acknowledging their shortcomings in dealing with this unique case. However, the Trust was also quick to point out that, since the tragic 2009 case, significant changes regarding their policies and appropriate courses of action had been enacted.