A paranoid schizophrenic killed his “devoted” mother in a “brutal and frenzied attack” as she watched TV has been jailed for life.
Lee Sowerby, 45, stabbed Mary Sowerby, 69, with a kitchen knife in her home in Dearham, Cumbria on January 22.
Sowerby has a history of mental illness and had spent 18 months in a secure hospital after he attempted to stab his brother’s girlfriend in 2008.
He pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility and was sentenced to a minimum of 11 years in jail at Preston Crown Court.
Judge Mark Brown said it was “astonishing” that Sowerby had been discharged from hospital in 2012 and blamed his not having proper mental health supervision for the killing.
Sentencing Sowerby, Judge Brown said: “Had the restrictions order not been absolutely discharged in 2012, I doubt very much this killing would have happened because he would have been recalled to hospital far sooner and ought to have been detained in hospital.”
The judge also said it was “astonishing”, given Sowerby’s history, that the defendant was not allowed to see a doctor six days before the killing when his father, Leonard, took him to a community mental health facility in Workington and pleaded he be put back on medication.
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Preston Crown Court heard a mental health worker was told Sowerby was hearing voices and experiencing visual hallucinations, and that he was using alcohol and cannabis, but he was sent home.
Sowerby’s mental health deteriorated when he stopped taking his prescribed medication and also began drinking alcohol and taking drugs.
Judge Brown told Sowerby: “The very many injuries demonstrated that this was a brutal and frenzied attack in which a vulnerable woman lost her life in the most appalling of circumstances.
“The bitter irony is that your mother was devoted to you over the years and had done her best for you. She supported you in every way possible.
“There is no doubt you are extremely dangerous. You have received hospital restriction orders which have had a somewhat limited effect and do not appear to have afforded the public proper protection.
“In my judgement, your level of culpability for the killing was high. You allowed the schizophrenia to deteriorate by refusing to take medication and also by using illicit drugs and alcohol.”