Man killed relative after trust blunder

The death of a woman at the hands of her mentally ill grandson
could have been prevented if the primary care trust had listened to
his family, claims mental health charity Sane.

It follows an independent inquiry by Lambeth PCT into a series of
blunders that led to Daniel Levy, now 26, setting fire to and
stabbing his grandmother to death in July 2000 after watching the
film Gladiator. Levy was convicted of manslaughter and is
now in a medium secure unit.

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

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

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

Lambeth PCT accepted the inquiry’s recommendation 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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