Don Lock murder trial: Mother of accused begged doctors to section son

The mother of a mentally ill man pleaded with doctors to section her son the week he repeatedly stabbed a driver to death, a court heard.

Wednesday, 4th May 2016, 4:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th May 2016, 5:07 pm
Matthew Daley pictured leaving Crawley Magistrates' Court last year. Picture by Eddie Mitchell

Lynda Daley said she was off work with worry about her son, Matthew Daley, 35, of St Elmo Road, Worthing, the day he stabbed retired solicitor Don Lock 39 times after a minor car accident on the A24 at Findon in July last year.

On the second day of her son’s murder trial, she told Lewes Crown Court she pleaded with A&E doctors to help her take care for her disturbed son, because he heard up to 30 voices in his head at a time.

She fought back tears as she recounted her ten-year battle with her son’s mental illness. She said: “He didn’t see things the way you and I do, especially when he was extremely stressed. He sees things the way he wants to. If you try to talk to him he will put up the barriers.

“We know when he is hearing voices by his facial expressions as he will hold his head in his hands, he won’t speak and his eyes will roll back in his head. He could hear up to 20 to 30 voices at a time. He wasn’t like that all the time, he was a very intelligent person.

“When he gets stressed he can switch. When his anxious he doesn’t think logically, he makes rash decisions and will often misinterpret people’s actions and feelings.”

Jurors heard Daley was taken to A&E on many occasions and his family begged doctors to section him for his and other’s safety. Mrs Daley added: “We asked for him to be sectioned many times, I was constantly crying, pleading with them to stop him leaving A&E. I used to drive to work every day listening to the radio to if there had been some incident, if someone had been found. It’s been like that for the last ten years.

“Matthew often thought people were talking about him and saying horrible things. We had numerous meetings and had lots of contact with care workers and trips to the hospital. We did everything we possibly could over the last ten years. We didn’t think they had diagnosed him properly and that they weren’t treating him properly.

“When I heard there was an incident near Rogers Farm I felt physically sick. I’d taken the day off work because I was so worried that something might happen, and it did.

“We did our best, went to the social workers so many times pointing out all the things that were happening.”

The chief executive of Sussex Partnership NHS Trust wrote to the Daley family apologising for the treatment he received. The letter read out by David Howker QC, defending Daley, said: “The care we provided should have been better, we should have reviews his diagnosis. We should have listened to your views in treating his illness and listened to you more.”

Daley admits killing Mr Lock but denies murder on grounds of diminished responsibility. The trial continues.