Man accused of murdering ex-partner and her son in Louth 'had personality disorder'

Daniel Boulton was 'like a robot', a jury was told Credit: PA

A man accused of murdering his ex-partner and and her nine-year-old son told a psychiatrist that he was "like a robot, an automaton", a court has heard.

Daniel Boulton denies murder but admits the manslaughter of his former girlfriend Bethany Vincent and nine-year-old Darren Henson in Louth on 31 May last year.

It is alleged he travelled 28 miles on foot from Skegness to the home of his former girlfriend and her son, where he stabbed them to death.

Bethany and son Darren

Dr Tim Rogers, a psychiatrist instructed by the prosecution, told the jury at Lincoln Crown Court that Daniel Boulton had said he had "no feelings" and had "reached his threshold" when he killed Bethany Vincent and her son Darren Henson.

Previously, defence psychiatrist Dr Pablo Vandenabeele told the court that it was his view that Boulton was suffering from an abnormality of mental function which substantially impaired his ability to exercise self control at the time. 

He described how Boulton had told him "it is like I wasn't there and autopilot did the job for me". 

Dr Vandenabeele said that, in his opinion, the sustained, ferocious violence Boulton exhibited was driven by an inability to exert self-control. 

On Friday Dr Rogers told the court that, while he agreed with Dr Vandenabeele that Boulton has a dissocial personality disorder and a complex mental health history, he did not agree that he had lost control of his actions on the day in question.

He said that "quite a few aspects" of what happened demonstrated control and intention, giving examples such as the fact Boulton had walked 28 miles to the address in Louth, made previous comments about wanting to "stab them all", smoked a cigarette outside the house straight afterwards and then attempted to hide from police.

He told the jury that, on balance, taking into consideration what happened before and after the stabbings, his view was that Boulton had demonstrated "purposeful, goal-directed violence".

Boulton denies murder but has admitted manslaughter. The trial continues.