Death of boy stabbed by mother ‘could not have been predicted or prevented’

The death of a five-year-old boy who was stabbed to death by his mentally ill mother could not have been “predicted or prevented”, according to a new report.

Emma Jackson told police she had no memory of inflicting 13 stab wounds on Tyler Warmington in a bedroom where he was found.

Jackson, then 41, from Faringdon, Oxfordshire, was found covered in blood at her home with cuts.

She admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility last year and was ordered to be detained in a psychiatric unit.

Two reports published on Monday concluded mental health professionals did not miss signs which could have prevented Tyler’s death.

A Mental Health Homicide Review commissioned by NHS England into the care and treatment of Jackson, referred to as X, concluded: “Together, the evidence gathered during our investigation about the quality of care that was provided for X, does not suggest that the tragic death of her son could have been predicted or prevented.”

A Serious Case Review (SCR), which refers to Tyler as Child M, said: “Review of records gives no indication that any of the professionals involved missed signs of a serious deterioration in the mother’s mental health or risk to Child M in the days or weeks leading up to his death.

“Although it is not possible to be certain about the mental state of Child M’s mother when he was killed in March 2017, the circumstances point to a sudden and drastic deterioration in her mental health.”

It continued: “There was no indication that the mother’s mental health was deteriorating, no reason to see the mother’s pattern of behaviour as presenting a high level of risk and no reason to think that steps needed to be taken to safeguard Child M.”

Last year, Oxford Crown Court heard how Tyler was found dead on March 14 2017 after he failed to attend school for two consecutive days.

Prosecutors said a police officer who attended a fear-for-welfare call found the youngster’s body near a kitchen knife.

Passing sentence, Judge Ian Pringle QC told Jackson, who had stopped taking anti-depressants: “It is almost certain that the paranoid schizophrenia was brought on by other factors, not just the taking of medication.

“Were it not for the paranoid schizophrenia in this case the offence would never have been near to being committed.”

The SCR said Jackson had a history of mental health problems but no history of violence.

She moved to Oxfordshire from Swindon in June 2015 and the family had regular contact with a children’s centre, a pre-school and a health visitor.

It said that concerns about her mental health had reduced before Tyler’s death and she received a number of brief episodes of care from Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and her GP between 2015 and 2017.

Richard Simpson, independent chair of the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board, which commissioned the SCR, said: “This is first and foremost a human tragedy when a young boy lost his life.

“We have conducted a thorough review that has led to recommendations and a comprehensive action plan.

“The tragedy is that despite many workers and agencies doing excellent work to support the family they were not able to predict and, therefore, prevent this loss of life.

“My thoughts are with the family at this extremely difficult time.”

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