Murder Inquiry Finds No Fault in Mental Health Care

Nothing could have been done by Sheffield care bosses to prevent two mental patients committing violent murders, an inquiry has found. The independent inquiry found no failures in the mental health care given to Louise Giles, who stabbed Helen Hay to death outside a Sheffield pub in 2004 or Joshua Daley, who was under the care of Sheffield Care Trust when he killed his girlfriend Natalie Mellors.

Giles, aged 19, of Hillsborough stabbed stranger Helen Hay, 23, of Woodseats, to death in a frenzied city centre attack. She stabbed her seven times in the chest and back with a kitchen knife kept in her handbag.

Four months after she was convicted of murder she committed suicide in prison.The report said: “It was the best quality of care of any NHS mental health care facility and there is nothing that the professionals in Sheffield could have done to avert the tragic incident.”

Joshua Daley killed his girlfriend by fracturing her skull in May 2003 and was subsequently convicted of her murder. Daley, 23, had been previously been sectioned and had a conviction for assaulting and imprisoning a former girlfriend. He was discharged from hospital and visited at home by a care coordinator from Sheffield Care Trust – who was not aware he had a new girlfriend.

Natalie, 18, died of brain injuries a week after Daley had slapped her around the head five times, leaving her unconscious for hours before calling an ambulance in May 2003

At his trial Daley, of Mount Street, Sharrow, was branded a “danger to women” and was given a life sentence.

Investigators did not believe the attack was preventable by the team. They found there was no systematic failure of care in the system. But in both the Daley and the Hussein case they recommended more staff training be given, more work done on risk assessements and on the type of information needed to make effective assessments of patients.