North East England

73 known cases 1993 – 2015

28 inquiry reports

In addition to the individual homicide inquiry reports available here, in May 2008 NHS North East published a review of all local mental health homicides between January 2002 and May 2008.

They found 36 mental health homicides occurred in the area during that time

By contrast only 13 cases have been found in press reports for the same period (involving 17 victims).

The review is available on the health authority’s website at:

Date Victim Location Event Comment download
24 Dec 15 Warren Duke Slough (but Tees patient) Mentally ill man off meds fatally stabs man Convicted of Manslaughter by diminished reponsibility  Inquiry
15 Nov 2015 Susan Mitchelson Blyth Mentally ill teenager thinking he’s a demon fatally stabs dinner lady Family raised concerns before incident DHR Exec Summ
23 Sept 2015 Sarrah Garba Gateshead Psychotic man fatally strangled his girlfriend believing she was ‘the devil’
2 Apr 2015 Zaneta Balazova Newcastle Paranoid schizophrenic repeatedly and fatally stabbed wife in front of children Family raised concerns about deterioration
19-25 May 2015 Maureen Rudland Durham Alzheimers patient with history of aggression pushes fellow resident who subsequently died Inquiry
15 Mar 2015 Melissa Riddle South Shields Mentally ill man repeatedly and fatally stabs partner
26 Jun – 5 Jul 2014 Jenny Bryant (89) Consett Man with dementia fatally assaults fellow care home resident Care home had difficulties raising concerns INQUIRY
25 Jun-14 Sheila Crout Newcastle upon Tyne Depressed man fatally smothers wife
11 Feb-14 Ray Patterson Benton, N Tyneside Schizophrenic man repeatedly and fatally stabs disabled father and grandmother
Clara Patterson (82)
25 Jan 14 Hamed Vaziri Middlesborough Paranoid schizophrenic fatally stabs housemate in neck and kicks him as he lays dying
15 Sept 2013 John Hall West Rainton MH patient fatally batters acquaintance with baseball bat INQUIRY REPORT
13 Sep-13 Gemma Finnegan Bolden Colliery Psychotic man strangled and repeatedly stabbed girlfriend Had killed before Full DHR
DHR Summary
1 Sep-13 James Ineson North Shields Schizophrenic fatally battered friend about the head
5 May 13 Sybil Sibthorpe (80) Darlington Mentally disordered man fatally batters pensioner in sustained assault
1 May 13 May Stokoe Sunderland Mentally ill man fatally stabs wife then himself Had warned of harming her before, stopped meds INQUIRY


22 Feb 2013 Gareth Matthews Whitby Mentally disordered woman fatally stabs partner DHR &
Inq Report
25 Apr 12 Julie Davison Whitby Mentally ill man fatally stabs stranger Ind Inq found failings in care  INQUIRY
23 Apr 12 Colin Dunford (81) Middlesborough Mentally ill man fatally attacks pensioner Ind Inq found failings in care  INQUIRY
Oct-11 Michell Harrison HMP Frankland Mental Health patient (PD) fatally stabs fellow prisoner History of violence, warned MH nurse he wanted to kill.
May-11 Jessica Braithwaite (7) Redcar Mentally ill man sets house on fire killing daughter (intended to kill entire family) MH history
1 Mar 2011 Jordan Cooper Washington Mentally disordered man fatally stabs nephew  Inquiry
Aug-10 Christy Ruddell
Peterlee Mentally ill mother fatally strangled son Family had struggled to get help
Jan-10 Bevin Shapung
(11 mnths)
North Shields Mentally ill woman kills baby and unsucessfully attempts suicide Previous MH history Inquiry
Jun-09 Ralph Stephenson (86) Durham Mentally ill man fatally strangles father History of depression & alcohol abuse
6 Apr 2009 Karen Leonard Middlesbrough Psychiatric patient fatally battered strangled and stabbed partner Prev. told nurses of fears of violent relapse Inquiry 
Jan-09 Tony Petersen Newcastle MH patient fatally batters disabled man with claw hammer Critical Inquiry report (Graham 2013) Inquiry
Dec-08 Williamina Valentine (84) Newcastle Psychotic mentally ill man fatally suffocates mother after missing medication. Inq not published – contact us for more info
Jun-08 Bertha Martin (85) Cleadon Mentally ill woman fatally batters mother Previously sectioned & violent, released without aftercare. Ind Inq 2014 NHS North Inquiry
Jun-08 Michelle Taylor Walker, Newcastle Mentally ill man fatally stabs ex-wife.
Oct-06 John Morrison Darlington Mentally ill man fatally strangles drinking companion Psych evidence of mental disorder at time
Jul-06 Peter Purcell Benwell, Newcastle Psychopathic former soldier executed family members PTSD? Inq due Inquiry
Jul-06 Joyce Purcell
Jul-06 Keith Purcell
Jul-06 Glen Purcell
May- 06 Ashleigh Ewing Heaton, Newcastle Paranoid schizophrenic fatally stabbed mental health worker 39 times with four knives. Prev. attacked parents with hammer (GBH). Prev. arrested at Buck Pal threatening Queen. Refused medication, realised was danger to others. Inquiry
May-06 Colin Anderson Newcastle Recently released mentally ill man (with depressive LD accomplice) batters man and throws him off tower block. Recently released after psychotic episode. Ind Inq due. Inquiry
Jan-06 Maurice Hilton Peterlee Mentally ill woman fatally stabs partner. Long MH history, previous violence, tragic history, critical inquiry Inquiry
Aug-05 Alexander Gallon
(4 months)
Newcastle Deluded and depressed mother kills baby by arson. Mental Health history. SCR 2006 Inquiry
Jan-05 Robert Carter New Marske, Redcar Psychiatric patient batters disabled landlord to death Had begged to be admitted to psych hosp days before. PD
Nov 04 Alison McNally Gateshead Mentally ill man fatally smothers wife Depressive illness. Indefinite hospital order
Jun-04 Lynda Lovett South Shields MH patient fatally stabbed partner 40 times. Parents had taken him to be sectioned hours earlier but released. Inquiry
Feb-04 Olive Garvie Jesmond Pensioner MH Homicide. Review, previous violence. Poor teamwork.
Jan-04 Colin Johnson Sunderland Paranoid schizophrenic kills former school friend with an axe. long history of increasing MH problems. Family asked MH for help 83 times before incident. Inquiry
Oct-03 Simon Richardson Sunderland Paranoid schizophrenic fatally and repeatedly stabbed Lawson, then fatally attacked Richardson with a Razor. Ind Inq 2007 Inquiry
Ian Lawson
Oct-03 Nusrat Alrahi Newcastle Mentally ill man strangles wife Receiving MH treatment – 3 yrs community order
Aug-03 Lee Johnson Newcastle Paranoid schizophrenic repeatedly stabs neighbour. Ind Inq 2008 Inquiry
Aug-03 Sarah Jane Coghlan Middlesbrough MH patient fatally stabs woman with bayonet (6mnths after release for previous murder). Ind Inq 2006 Inquiry
Feb-03 Paul Best Easington Mentally disordered man fatally stabs youth on 18th birthday Learning disabilities with history of violence
Sep-02 Elizabeth Gallagher North Tyneside MH patient stabbed wife. Ind Inq 2005. Had previously threatened to kill wife. Inquiry
Aug-02 Jean Charlton (71) Washington Paranoid Schizophrenic man fatally stabs mother 15 times and attempts to decapitate her.
Nov-01 William Pyle (77) Bishop Auckland Psychotic woman repeatedly batters and stabs father and sets house alight.
Sep-01 Lenny Leak Gateshead Fatally poured petrol over flatmate and lit it during argument. Ind Inq 2004 – history of previous violence.
Mar-01 David Huitson Newcastle Schizophrenic stabbed victim who had given evidence against him in another stabbing case. Ind Inq 2004 – history of previous violence.
Jan-01 John Jeffries Hartlepool MH patient fatally and repeatedly battered victim with rock. Iind Inq 2003 – Previous threats of violence with knives.
Jun-00 Abdul Ghafoor Middlesbrough MH patient attacks victim with hammer (+PD) Ind Inq 2002
Mar-00 Caroline Wills Cramlington, North-umberland Paranoid Schizophrenic kills sister and her son in frenzied attack. Ind Inq 2002
Mar-00 Ashley Wills (5) Cramlington, North-umberland Paranoid Schizophrenic kills sister and her son in frenzied attack. Ind Inq 2002
Oct-99 Q County Hospital Durham MH homicide Ind Inq 2003
Mar-98 James Byrne Sunderland MH Homicide Ind Inq 1999
Dec-97 David Turnbull Co Durham MH homicide Ind Inq 2000
Jun-97 Peter McNamee Stockton MH homicide of girlfriend’s ex. Ind Inq 1999
May-97 Eric Kirby Bishop Auckland MH homicide of partner. Ind Inq 2000
Jul-95 Eileen McLachlan Newcastle/ Tyne area Schizophrenic kills mother. Ind Inq 1997
Jul-95 Jamie Hemy (7 mnths) Wallsend, Tyne &Wear Schizophrenic woman repeatedly stabs baby 70 times.
Jun-95 Douglas Heathwaite Co Durham MH homicide of stranger. Ind Inq 1998
May-95 Halina Szymczuk Ashington, North-umberland Mentally ill man fatally stabbed neighbour (murdering Mother-in law 1976). Ind Inq 1996
Feb-95 William Taylor (74) Tees HA Psychotic MH patient fatally stabs father. Ind Inq 1996
Jul 1994 Robert Keating-Payne Newcastle Mentally disordered man fatally battered and stabbed man with razors, craft knives & a screwdriver
Jun-94 Rosie Palmer (3) Hartlepool MH patient abused, killed and kept 3 year old victims body in plastic bag at home. Ind Inq 1996
Mar-94 Nickki Conroy (12) Middlesbrough Psychotic man breaks into school and repeatedly and fatally stabs girl.
Aug 1993 Emma Hutchinson (5) Sunderland Depressed mother killed young daughter after setting fire to their home

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *