Son killed his mother in Northampton flat two weeks after he stopped taking anti-psychotic medication

Flowers laid outside the former home of Sandra Thomas in Linley Green, Duston, Northampton
Flowers laid outside the former home of Sandra Thomas in Linley Green, Duston, Northampton

A Northampton man killed his mother by repeatedly hitting her over the head with a TV bracket two weeks after he had stopped taking his medication to treat his paranoid schizophrenia, a court heard.

David Love, aged 33, launched a violent attack on his mother Sandra Thomas in her flat in Duston in the early hours of April 14.

Northampton Crown Court heard Love, who had been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, was being monitored by a community psychiatric team shortly before the fatal attack and had been trusted to take his anti-psychotic medication.

But Christopher Donnelan, prosecuting, said Love is believed to have stop taking the pills two weeks before he attacked his mother and was also smoking cannabis, which psychiatrists believed exacerbated his mental health problems.

Mr Donnelan said Love had a history of violent offending, and had served prison sentences for assault and possession of a knife.

Ms Thomas had also reported a number of incidents to police in which her son had damaged her property or abused her but she had not pressed charges.

Mr Donnelan said: “Six weeks before the killing she reported that he was missing from hospital and she said she was concerned that he was unpredictable and paranoid. She said he had put a knife to her throat and smashed up her flat.”

The court heard the night before the fatal attack, a man who lived in Ms Thomas’ flat, said he saw Love and his mother at about 7pm playing on the XBox together.

He then went out and returned at 9.30pm to see the pair watching TV together.

The man then went to bed but was woken at about 1.30am to hear Ms Thomas say the words “no David.”

Mr Donnelan said: “He saw the defendant holding the metal bracket and then swing it down hard three times. He then realised Ms Thomas was on the floor below him. He heard the defendant say ‘you are trying to kill me’.”

The witness then went to ring 999 but was told “no phones” by Love, who asked him to walk to the police station with him.

As they were walking, Love said “I’ve killed my mum,” and “Please let it be a nightmare”.

The man was then able to call emergency services and Love was arrested as he was walking down Spencer Bridge Road.

Due to his mental state, he was not able to be interviewed by officers and was taken to a secure mental health unit.

Love was later charged with the murder of his mother but, on September 29 this year, pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter by diminished responsibility.

Judge Rupert Mayo sentenced Love to an indefinite hospital order.

Judge Mayo said: “The paranoid schizophrenia was very severe at the time of Ms Thomas’s death, this was exacerbated by the failure to take the medication and was aggravated by the use of cannabis.”

The court heard that Love, who is currently in a medium secure mental health institution, has responded well to medication.