Mental health charity says murder by schizophrenic was preventable

The death of a woman killed by her mentally ill grandson could
have been prevented if the primary care trust (PCT) had listened to
his family, reveals Sane Mental Health charity, writes
Shirley Kumar
.

The move follows an inquiry by Lambeth PCT into a series of
blunders that led to Daniel Levy setting fire and stabbing his
grandmother to death in July 2000 after watching a
Gladiator film.

The inquiry, although critical, concluded that the was not
preventable.

Sane disagreed. A spokesperson said, “As in many other cases,
had Levy’s parents been listened to and his history known,
the doctors would not have made the wrong diagnosis (of a
depressive illness rather than schizophrenic or psychotic) and
given inadequate treatment.”

The inquiry also found ward staff at South London and Maudsley NHS
Trust (SLaM) failed to take into account the history of
Levy’s grandmother or father.

Sane chief executive Marjorie Wallace said: “More shocking is
the revelation that only two days before Levy killed his
grandmother, his mother sought urgent help but was told that he did
not meet the referral criteria.”

The inquiry recommended that in future “a carer’s
legitimate interest in their family member is recognised and also
that their support needs are considered”.

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