Hospital Order for Mother's Day killer of Melissa Liddle

Melissa Liddle was killed by her 'controlling' boyfriend on Mother's Day 2015. Credit: Northumbria Police

A killer who stabbed his girlfriend to death on Mother's Day after becomingconvinced she was having an affair will be detained in a secure hospitalindefinitely.

Mum-of-two Melissa Liddle, 23, was found dead in bed at her South Shieldshome after her family grew concerned about her absence on the special day.

Boyfriend Anthony Ross, 24, whose "possessive and controlling" behaviourhad got worse in the previous weeks, had stabbed the much loved mum 41 times.

Newcastle Crown Court heard it was when Melissa failed to get in touch with her family on the Mother's Day she had been looking forward to, her worried brother and step-father kicked in the front door and found her body, while her frantic mum listened to what was happening over the phone.

Melissa and her brother Liam, who never got over his sister's death. Credit: Northumbria Police

Her heartbroken brother Liam Bush never got over what he saw and was found dead just months after his sister.

The devastated 21-year-old left a suicide note after his death lastNovember, saying he wanted to be with his sister and could no longer cope with what happened.

Prosecutor Nick Dry told the court: "Added to the victim impact statementis the tragic death, in fact suicide, of Melissa Liddle's brother Liam.

"It was he who discovered his sister's body in March last year and, sad itis to report, he killed himself in November, three weeks after his 21stbirthday.

"He did leave a note, which indicated he wished to be with his sister, hecouldn't cope with her loss.

"Also recovered was a sketch drawing, depicting the scene at the house when he found her body.'

"Melissa was a vivacious outgoing girl, nothing got her down and she strived to achieve the best in life. She past her florist grades with plans of one day opening her own flower shop. She absolutely doted on her children. She was a big family person. She loved all occasions and was always the first at the door with flowers and gifts. Her family was everything to her. Melissa had a real charge for love, a really happy person.

Statement from the family of Melissa Liddle

Ross pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter, due to diminished responsibility.

Judge Paul Sloan QC sentenced Ross to a hospital order and, after hearing evidence from consultant psychiatrists, said he was satisfied he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.

Ross's order includes a special restriction which means he will only bereleased if and when the authorities, in agreement with specialistpsychiatrists, agree it is safe.

Judge Sloan said: "There should be no question of you set at large unlessand until the relevant authorities are completely satisfied that you no longerpresent any danger to the public arising from your mental disorder."

The judge said Ross's killing of Melissa, who showed "devotion" as a mother and a great talent at her work, had had a "devastating" effect on her family and friends and said the death of her brother was a tragedy.

He added: "No sentence I pass could ever serve to lessen or ease theirpain."

We accept the outcome of the court today. This man has taken a young woman from her family and loved ones and my deepest sympathies remain with them. This has been a difficult ordeal for the family. They have been exceptionally brave throughout this case and I hope today brings the closure they need to be able to move on with their lives."

DCI Andy Fairlamb, Northumbria Police