Grandfather killed by partner's son who believed he was being mind-controlled

The Old Bailey
The Old Bailey

“The absolute tragedy is … that had you taken your medication, there is a strong likelihood this would never have happened.”

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A man has been locked up indefinitely for killing his mother’s partner in the delusional belief he was controlling his mind.

Nicholas Jones, 35, plunged a 15cm long kitchen knife into the chest of 45-year-old Paul McCarroll as he sat up in bed with his girlfriend on the evening on November 20 last year.

Jones was seen fleeing the family home in Croydon, south London, swearing and carrying a pair of shoes.

He called emergency services saying: “I have f****ed up. I tried stabbing someone through the heart. I thought he was trying to mind control me.”

The defendant complained about voices in his head and said he had not been taking his medication.

Mr McCarroll, a fork-lift truck instructor, was pronounced dead at the scene.

His partner Elaine Jones told police there had been no animosity and the attack came “out of the blue”, prosecutor Charlotte Newell QC said.

Mrs Jones said her son had suffered from mental health problems in adulthood which he attributed to being hypnotised once in a pub.

The defendant had used drugs including skunk cannabis and cocaine in the past but was not under the influence at the time of the killing.

In July, Jones, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.

At his sentencing at the Old Bailey on Monday, Mr McCarroll’s family and friends described him as a kind man and devoted father-of-two.

He was a carer to his shielding parents in the lockdown and slept in his car for days to be close-by for the birth of his first grandchild, who he never got the opportunity to meet.

His sister Mel Pounder said: “Our lives have been torn apart and our anguish multiplied during the delays that it has taken to get to this point.”

Judge Anthony Leonard handed Jones a hospital order without limit of time.

He told the defendant: “The absolute tragedy is … that had you taken your medication, there is a strong likelihood this would never have happened.”