Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Doctors Had No Hint of Killings to Come; Families of Danger Patient's Victims Demand Action

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Doctors Had No Hint of Killings to Come; Families of Danger Patient's Victims Demand Action

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul James Chief Reporter

RELATIVES of two men killed by a paranoid schizophrenic demanded last night that health chiefs make major changes to prevent other dangerous patients from killing.

Their call came as an inquiry found there had been no indications that Sean Crone, who had a history of mental illness, would go on to kill Ian Lawson and Simon Richardson in October 2003.

Crone, now 29, of Rhodesia Road, Red House, Sunderland, was detained indefinitely at Rampton maximum security hospital in January 2005 after he admitted stabbing 25-year-old Ian Lawson 24 times, and hours later slashing 27-year-old Simon Richardson's throat with a razor blade.

He was under the care of South of Tyne and Wearside Mental Health Trust and had been referred for help to the mental health trust days before the deaths.

After Crone admitted manslaughter two years ago, he was detained at Rampton Secure Hospital, and an independent inquiry was launched, which reported yesterday that there had been weaknesses in communication between the health professionals who cared for him.

The panel's recommendations to the North East Strategic Health Authority included introducing new procedures for individuals like Crone who are reluctant to get help, new ways to provide mental health care and promoting detailed record keeping in primary care.

The inquiry said Crone, who had been in and out of Sunderland's Cherry Knowle Hospital from the age of 16 and was repeatedly in trouble with the police, was difficult to treat and hid symptoms of his condition.

The panel, led by barrister Kester Armstrong, agreed the deaths could not have been prevented, and that there was no direct link between the care he received and the killings.

But victim Mr Richardson's sister Louise Armstrong, 26, of Carley Hill, Sunderland, said: "We believe there was a lot that could have been done to identify this person's problems sooner. …

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