'Son of God' killer sent to Broadmoor
The family of Jenny Morrison, 51, immediately condemned the system that allowed Anthony Joseph to kill his "compassionate and highly respected" social worker in a care in the community hostel.
Joseph, 27, showed no emotion as the jury of five women and six men decided by a majority verdict that he was guilty of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility. They rejected the defence's claim that he had been too insane to understand the illegality of his actions. Judge Michael Hyam, the Recorder of London, said Joseph should be sent back to Broadmoor secure psychiatric hospital indefinitely.
"There is risk of your committing further offences if set at large and it is necessary for the protection of the public from serious harm to make a restriction order not subject to limited time," the judge said.
Ms Morrison's sister, Sandra Foster, said last night that the family was "relieved that the correct verdict was reached". She added: "However this should never be allowed to happen again. The system failed both Jenny and Anthony."
The social services in Wandsworth, south London, said there would be a public inquiry. But Ms Morrison's daughter, Tanya, 30, told The Independent she was angry that Joseph's condition had been allowed to worsen to the point where he killed her mother. "Why was he allowed to deteriorate over six months and how could he stop taking his medication for four months?" she said.
Her views were echoed by mental health campaigners, after the Old Bailey trial was told that no risk assessment had been carried out on Joseph when he was released into the community. He had not taken his medication for at least four months - something the social workers were powerless to enforce - and had threatened to harm Ms Morrison. Michael Howlett, director of the Zito Trust, said: "If a patient stops taking his medication, he is not only putting his mental well-being at risk but also the safety of the public around him.
"The fact he could get kitchen knives in an environment that is not closely supervised just adds to the outrage in this horror. This is a classic case of someone being discharged improperly without a proper risk assessment. The situation Jenny Morrison was in was absolutely appalling."
Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of SANE, pointed out that there had been 33 inquiries into such cases, with a further 30 inquiries still ongoing.
She said: "There needs to be a policy of risk assessment in general, not just for these relatively few tragic cases."
She hoped the recommendations brought in by the forthcoming review of the Mental Health Act and the new National Framework for Mental Health Services would offer improvement. "We hope this is going to be one of the last cases of its kind," she said.
Joseph had been under the care of Wandsworth social services, Pathfinder mental health services NHS trust and the Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth health trust.
An internal review recommended that risk assessment be introduced as part of a broader review. It further insisted that there should be better communication with GPs.
While acknowledging that there had been some consideration of risk when Joseph was released into the community, the report said there should be more comprehensive care plans.
The Old Bailey trial heard that Joseph carried out the killing while believing that he was the Son of God and had been ordered to do so by his "Christ family".
His parents, Roy and Maria Joseph, condemned the hostel for failing their son at the time of the killing. Wandsworth social services said the public inquiry into Morrison's death would be chaired by Peter Herbert, the barrister who handled the investigation into the death of WPC Nina Mackay.
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