1 June 1950 – 4 July 2020
It’s with very great sadness that we recently learned of the untimely death of Maureen Lound, from Southport.
In early 2016 Maureen lost her young son Will at the hands of a man with a very long history of serious mental illness, drug abuse, and violence. Although he had told mental health professionals he was hearing voices telling him to kill people, he was released by a mental health tribunal back into the community when he killed Will. It was a completely avoidable death.
The shock of Will’s death hit the family exceptionally hard.
Just a few months later, Will’s sister, Gini, took her own life.
Maureen always thought it was the result of being heart-broken by what had happened to her brother. She said. “Last Christmas I had two wonderful children who I loved very dearly and was very proud of. This Christmas I will be alone.”
Despite these terrible tragedies, with great courage and an infectious spirit, she remained committed to making a positive change.
When Lee Arnold was finally sentenced for the murder of her son, Maureen gave a moving statement. It’s worth repeating in full.
I am glad that Lee Arnold pleaded guilty to the murder of my son and will now get the psychiatric treatment he needs. However, nothing will take away from the fact I have lost my kind-hearted, wonderful son.
Will’s fellow students wrote that ‘he was a happy, smiling individual, an interesting conversationalist and always ready to help others’.
Will was enjoying student life and had made a promising start at university. The world should have been at his feet.
I do not blame Lee Arnold for what he did, I blame the system which allowed it to happen.
Arnold is a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic with a history of violence and has spent much of his adult life in secure institutions. He should not have been roaming the streets of Greater Manchester without supervision. When his violent behaviour caused him to be ejected from the hostel he was staying in, action should have been taken to protect him and those he came into contact with.
How many other Lee Arnold’s are loose on the streets of our towns and cities, with the potential to kill or injure innocent people?
Perhaps it is time our government woke up to the fact that investment in mental health services is totally inadequate.
I believe people with mental health issues should be cared for in the community, but sadly without the resources to do it properly a minority will present a danger.
Will’s death has devastated not only my life but the lives of many. Gini, Will’s younger sister, took her own life almost certainly as a result of Arnold’s crime.
My children’s deaths have not only affected the family but their many friends. Gini ran a corner shop and was known to children in the area as the ‘sweety lady’. These children have had to come to terms with death for the first time in their lives.
Their deaths are like the ripples on a pond and all those who loved them and whose lives they touched are much poorer.
Their young lives were cut short by the actions of a man who should have received the help he so desperately needed before he went on to wreak such devastation.
Rest in peace Mo.