Mother of Ethan Mountain 'blames health trust' for death of Sunderland gran Joan Hoggett

Ethan Mountain was 19 when he killed 62-year-old Joan Hoggett, as she worked in a Sunderland shop. Credit: Northumbria Police

The mother of a masked teenager, who stabbed a grandmother to death in a random attack, says she blames mental health services for "ripping her family apart."

Ethan Mountain was 19 when he killed 62-year-old Joan Hoggett, as she worked in a Sunderland shop.

He was later detained indefinitely at a secure hospital, after admitting manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

A statement from his mother, Nicola Curtis, was read out at the inquest, in which she said she was "heartbroken" for Mrs Hoggett's family.

She said: "I would like to take this opportunity to offer my deepest sympathies to Joan's family and friends.

"My heart breaks for Joan's family and also my own family.

"This has ripped my family apart."

Mrs Hoggett was a devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

She died in the attack in September 2018 when Mountain entered the One Stop Shop in Fulwell wearing a horror mask.

In a frenzied attack lasting less than a minute, he fatally stabbed Joan 19 times, before running off.

He had left a holdall at the scene containing knives, clothes and a hammer, with a knife sheath later found nearby.

Ethan Mountain had been hospitalised after suffering psychosis a year before the attack but had been released as he seemed to be recovering well.

Yet, Mountain had not been seen by professionals since April that year and had stopped engaging, the inquest heard.

Most of yesterday's evidence (5 May) was from Cumbria, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear mental health trust.

Anthony Deery, group director of nursing for the trust, said there had been a "stark lesson learned" from the case and changes made since Mr Mountain was under their care.

He said the trust had changed its practices to ensure reviews would be held in future in cases like Mr Mountain's, where patients had stopped engaging; but said it could not have forced him to have treatment under the circumstances.

Mountain had stopped taking his medication entirely a week before Mrs Hoggett's death - but he told no one.

The inquest continues and the coroner is expected to deliver a verdict today (6 May).