Inquest into man killed by schizophrenic grandson

An inquest has begun in Nottingham on an 81 year old man stabbed to death by his grandson. John McGrath was killed by William Barnard in July 2009 in Stapleford, Nottinghamshire. Barnard also injured his 84 year old grandmother Mabel.

The charity Mind say pensioner's death is 'tragic but rare'

A mental health charity has described the death of a pensioner killed by his schizophrenic grandson as tragic but incredibly rare.

Earlier today the coroner at his inquest recorded a verdict of unlawful killing.

The social care team were criticised for failing to assess William Barnard's mental state before he killed the 84-year-old at his home in Stapleford in Nottinghamshire.

This was undoubtedly a tragic incident with fatal consequences but it’s important to recognise that such cases are incredibly rare. More than half a million people live with severe mental health problems such as schizophrenia, but people with mental health problems are extremely unlikely to be dangerous."

– Mental Health charity Mind

Pensioner was fighting to get help for schizophrenic grandson who killed him

The mother of a man suffering from schizophrenia who stabbed his Grandfather to death says he'd been fighting to get him help.

81-year-old John McGrath was killed by William Barnard in July 2009 at his Grandfather's home in Stapleford in Nottinghamshire.

Barnard also injured his 84 year old grandmother Mabel.

Kathleen Barnard said her father always wanted Will to get better:

Read: Inquest into man killed by schizophrenic grandson

Advertisement

NHS apologises following death of man killed by schizophrenic grandson

The NHS have apologised for failings that led to the death of a man who was repeatedly stabbed by his grandson.

34-year-old William Barnard, who has schizophrenia, killed 81-year-old John McGrath at his home in Stapleford in Nottinghamshire.

Prior to the inquest the Trust had completed its own internal investigation in 2010 and commissioned a further external independent review of William Barnard’s care. We have previously acknowledged the failings that occurred in our services in 2009 but would like to reassure members of the public that significant changes have been made in the intervening five years..

We have listened carefully to the Coroner’s conclusion and note that the Coroner has acknowledged that the Trust has implemented significant changes over the past five years. We hope that this inquest has helped answer any remaining questions that the family has and brings them some closure.

– Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust statement

Read: Inquest into man killed by schizophrenic grandson

Coroner records unlawful killing at inquest for man killed by schizophrenic grandson

John McGrath was killed by his grandson
John McGrath was killed by his grandson Credit: ITV News Central

A coroner has recorded an unlawful killing at the inquest into the death of a pensioner killed by his schizophrenic grandson.

The social care team were criticised for failing to assess the mental state of a man who stabbed his grandfather to death in 2009.

William Barnard, who has schizophrenia, killed 84-year-old John McGrath at his home in Stapleford in Nottinghamshire.

He has already pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of demolished responsibility.

The coroner said no one agency is responsible

Police have also been criticised for failing to arrest Barnard for an earlier incident involving a machete.

Read: Inquest into man killed by schizophrenic grandson

Grandson who murdered pensioner was suspect in armed robbery

John McGrath was killed by his grandson
John McGrath was killed by his grandson Credit: ITV News Central

The inquest into the death of an 81-year-old man has heard how his grandson, who was also his killer, was a suspect in an attempted robbery involving a machete 2 months earlier.

William Barnard pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of John McGrath on the grounds of demolished responsibility in 2010.

He had previously been diagnosed as having schizophrenia.

Today the inquest into his death heard that despite William being a suspect in the robbery, and his mental health history being known to police, no attempt was ever made to arrest him. The inquest continues.

Mental health worker tells inquest he should have identified risk to family

John McGrath was killed by his grandson Credit: ITV News Central

A mental health worker, who cared for a schizophrenic man who stabbed his grandfather to death, has told an inquest that he should have identified the risk to his family.

William Barnard, from Stapleford in Nottingham, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of John McGrath on the grounds of diminished responsibility in 2010.

Today, one of his outreach team, Jim Smith, who tried to visit him on the morning of the attack, told a judge at Nottingham Coroners Court that he did not think he had enough evidence to request a police warrant to enter William's house.

The inquest is expected to last until the end of next week.

Advertisement

Inquest hears from health worker of schizophrenic man

John McGrath was killed by his grandson William Barnard, who suffered from schizophrenia Credit: ITV News Central

The inquest into the death of John McGrath, who was killed by his schizophrenic grandson William Barnard, is hearing evidence from Gareth Cook, part of Barnard's outreach team. He told the inquest:

We became increasingly aware that William wasn't going to engage with us and John and the family became more and more important... Looking back I don't see anything else we could have tried."

His (William's) contact with John would help him improve. He would do stuff his carers would never do... There were problems with a utility bill and John used to phone up and and say he was William and the problem would be solved.

That's an example of the sort of thing he would do that was above and beyond."

William Barnard stabbed his grandfather John McGrath in July 2009 at his home in Stapleford, Nottinghamshire Credit: ITV News Central

The coroner Heidi Connor asked Gareth Cook if there were any problems at work in 2009. He replied: "As a team we generally struggled." She asked: "We're there workload issues?" Me Cook said "There were a number of issues but workload would come into that as well."

Grandfather stabbed by grandson was 'a guiding light'

John McGrath was killed by his grandson in 2009 Credit: ITV News Central

The family of an 81 year old man who was stabbed to death by his grandson have released a tribute to John McGrath - describing him as a guiding light in their lives.

The grandfather was killed by William Barnard in July 2009 at his home in Stapleford, Nottinghamshire. Barnard also injured his 84 year old grandmother Mabel.

The family said:

"He was a tremendous guiding light in our lives and we are extremely proud of him. He was someone whom we all deeply loved and admired we were blessed to be able to say he was our Dad.

"His influence on us and our families was immense and the loss has left a great void in our lives and the rawness and our grief even after 5 years is still as strong.

"What has compounded our grief is the fact that we have to watch our mum dealing with her grief; she is tortured daily by the flashbacks of that day and having to somehow carry on without her husband, the man who was her reason for living.

"She wishes she hadn’t survived and that she had gone with him. It will take a very long time for our grief to pass, if indeed it ever does."