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Family killed in knife frenzy
6:00pm Thursday 31st October 2013 in News
A LANDSCAPE gardener who killed his partner and six-year-old son in a frenzied knife attack has been detained to a secure mental health hospital.
Paul Chadwick stabbed Lisa Clay 32 times in their Bolton-le-Sands home on April 9, a court heard yesterday. Little Joseph Chadwick suffered 25 puncture and stab wounds – one to his neck was more than three inches deep.
Prosecuting Stuart Denney QC said the defendant told police he intended to kill the pair because ‘he wanted to die and wanted the three of them to be together in death’.
But he said that after the incident the defendant told police: “ I love my boy and my girl. I know what I have done. I don’t know why I did it.”
Chadwick, who had pleaded guilty in September to two counts of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, had been transferred from Preston prison to the Guild Lodge facility near the city.
Yesterday at Preston Crown Court, under the Mental Health Act 1983, Judge Justice King ordered Chadwick to remain at the hospital and served a restriction order for an ‘unlimited time’, which means he will only be released on the consent of the Secretary of State.
The court was told by Mr Denney that on the morning of the tragedy, Chadwick claimed he woke in the Lowlands Road family home between 4 – 5am, wanting a drink of water.
“The defendant said he went to the kitchen and took a carving knife from the block and a kitchen knife from the drawer,” said the QC.
“He then put them under the bed and got back into bed for what he thought was ten minutes.”
Mr Denney told the court that Chadwick said he then pushed a pillow over the face of Lisa, 40, in an attempt to suffocate her, which medical evidence neither confirmed nor denied.
“He stabbed her a number of times but she managed to get out of bed and run across the landing downstairs,” said Mr Denney.
“Joseph came to the bedroom door and Chadwick grabbed hold of him and stabbed him two to three times before pursuing Miss Clay downstairs, where he stabbed her several times. She tried to get up to the front door but he pulled her back.
“He returned upstairs where Joseph was still breathing so he stabbed him a few more times, and then he went back to Lisa and she was still breathing so he stabbed her another couple times thereby killing her.”
He continued: “Chadwick said he then returned upstairs and stabbed himself. He picked up Joseph and laid him on his bed. He was found on his bed with his arms folded.”
The tragic scene was discovered by the defendant’s mum Susan, who looked through the letterbox of the dormer bungalow to be faced with the blood-stained body of Miss Clay in the hallway and Chadwick, also with blood on him, falling down the stairs. She called the police who arrived at 11.47am.
Chadwick’s, with whom the court heard he had a ‘close relationship’, told police that in the week leading up to the deaths her son had been saying some ‘bizarre’ things.
Mr Denney explained: “He told her that he had been bullied at school, that people thought he was gay, and that clients did not want to talk to him. By the morning of April 8 she persuaded him to go to the doctors where he repeated the comments and told them of voices he heard.”
The court heard that Chadwick was referred to Ridge Lea mental health unit in Lancaster for assessment, and was due to attend an appointment on the afternoon he killed his partner and son.
Dr Matthew Appleyard, Chadwick’s treating psychologist at Guild Lodge, told the court that when the defendant arrived at the unit he ‘appeared paranoid’.
“He thought staff and patients were talking about him and saying he was gay or queer. He said he believed people were against him,” he said.
He diagnosed Chadwick a paranoid schizophrenic - a condition he said he believed the man still suffered from now.
The court heard documentary evidence from two other physiatrists, one who had the same conclusion as Dr Appleyard and the other believing Chadwick had a ‘delusional disorder’.
In defence Suzanne Goddard QC said Chadwick felt remorse for what he had done. She said: “The facts of this tragic case speak for themselves. Chadwick killed the two people that he loved most. He wishes to apologise to his and Lisa’s family and is struggling to come to terms with what he has done, and no doubt that will be with him for the rest of his life.”
Addressing Chadwick at the sentencing Justice King said: “I am satisfied that you were suffering at the moment of offending and continue to suffer from a mental disorder, arising out of a psychotic illness.
“Dr Appleby is under the opinion that you are certainly suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, the onset of which was sudden with symptoms only becoming evident in the week prior to the offences. I accept that.”
He added: “I am satisfied that this disorder is of a nature and a degree that makes it appropriate for you to be detained in hospital for medical treatment.
“You continue for the foreseeable future to require the conditions of medium security. It is necessary for the protection of the public from serious harm.”
Speaking after the court case Detective Supt Paul Withers, from the Lancashire Police force major investigation team, said: “This was an absolutely tragic case involving the death of a woman and a young child in horrific circumstances and while we will probably never know exactly why Paul Chadwick did what he did I am satisfied with today’s sentence and pleased the family were spared the ordeal of a trial. Our thoughts remain with those affected by this most appalling case.”
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