Mental health reforms: Deadly toll

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The Independent Online
According to an analysis by the Zito Trust, an average of 20 people a year are killed in Britain by people suffering mental illness, chiefly schizophrenia. Subsequent inquiries often find breakdowns in supervision, and patients failing to take medication. On several occasions parents and siblings had pleaded to have the patient detained shortly before the killing. Among the cases were:

Jonathan Zito, a 27-year-old musician whose death on a London Tube platform led to the foundation of the Zito Trust.

He was stabbed in the head by Christopher Clunis in December 1992.

Jonathan Newby, 22, was working as a volunteer in the Cirenians hostel for the homeless in Oxford.

He was repeatedly knifed by resident John Rous in October 1993.

Susan Crawford, 33. Was stabbed 70 times by her boyfriend, Michael Folkes, also known as Lukewarm Luke, in October 1994. He was an out-patient at the Maudsley Hospital, London; the report following the inquiry into the killing was published last month.

Christopher Edwards, 30, who was on remand in Chelmsford Prison in November 1994 on a minor breach of the peace charge. Stamped and battered to death by his cellmate Richard Linford, who had a long history of mental illness.

Arthur and Shirley Wilson, both 65. Strangled in their bungalow by their neighbour, discharged mental patient Jason Mitchell, 26, in December 1994, a few days after being released from St Clements Hospital, near Ipswich, to a halfway house. He then killed and dismembered his father, Robert Mitchell.

Susan Hearman, 25, and her daughters Julie-Anne, four, and Kylie Roberts, six. Killed when Darren Carr set fire to their Oxford home in January 1995. She had hired him as a live-in child minder shortly after he had been discharged from hospital with a psychiatric disorder which was judged to be untreatable.

Lin Russell, 45, and her six-year-old daughter Megan were killed in a hammer attack near their home in the village of Chillenden, near Canterbury, in July 1996; nine-year-old Josie Russell suffered severe brain damage. In October this year Michael Stone, 38, was found guilty of their murders. He had a severe personality disorder but it had been deemed untreatable.

Carla Thompson, 57, a born-again Christian who took people with problems into her south London home. In January this year she was bludgeoned to death with a table leg by 19-year-old Daniel Joseph, who had been diagnosed as suffering paranoid psychosis and had stopped taking his medication. Her neighbour, 62-year-old Agnes Erume, was also battered but survived.

Anthony Harrison, 63, a retired civil servant. He was stabbed to death in his Andover home in April this year by Christopher Moffat, a schizophrenic who had walked out of Basingstoke's Parklands Hospital two months earlier, despite being under `15-minute observation'.