Care Worker Knifed To Death By Schizophrenic
A care worker was stabbed to death doing a routine visit to a paranoid schizophrenic who just weeks earlier had turned up at Buckingham Palace to kill the Queen.
Ronald Dixon – who believed he was a king and the son of Henry Vlll – left Ashleigh Ewing with 39 horrific stab wounds when she called at his home to deliver a letter on May 19 last year.
Dixon, who was sectioned after his bungled attempt to kill Her Majesty on January 26 2006, had been refusing to take his anti-psychotic medication when he was allowed back onto the street in the build up to the killing.
Tragic Ashleigh had been working for Mental Health Matters, who provided him support in the community, for just five months when she was killed.
The Northumbria University psychology graduate had shadowed experienced support workers during her four week training period but was then responsible for visiting patients with mental health problems alone.
Newcastle Crown Court heard how despite Dixon, 35, displaying signs of a relapse into a psychotic state brought on by paranoid schizophrenia, she was still sent to see him alone.
The court heard how the letter she was delivering was a demand for money for payment from debt ridden Dixon after he broke a telephone belonging to Mental Health Matters and had been told to pay compensation.
Prosecutor Paul Sloan QC, said: “It would seem the content of the letter played some part in triggering the frantic knife attack which the defendant then launched on Ashleigh Ewing.”
“Scientific examination of the scene established the assault on Ashleigh started in the sitting room where she was seated in a armchair.”
“There was a struggle during which items were knocked over and Ashleigh lost an earring. She then made her way to the kitchen bleeding freely from knife wounds.”
“She remained upright for a period, still trying to fend off knife blows and resulting in defence injuries.”
“She eventually fell to the floor in the kitchen where the defendant continued his attack, sitting astride Ashleigh while stabbing her in the chest and inflicting a deep wound to her neck.”
“In all, the defendant used four knives during the course of the attack, as one knife broke he would arm himself with a replacement knife.”
“A broken knife blade was found in one of the wounds to her chest.”
“Ashleigh sustained 39 stab wounds to her head, chest and upper arms.”
The court heard after the attack at Dixon’s home in Newcastle, he handed himself into the police station and answered “King” to most of the questions put to him by detectives.
Dixon admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
A spokeswoman for the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust said in statement: “The death of Ashleigh Ewing in the course of carrying out her duties with Mental Health Matters was a tragedy, and something that shocked and saddened everyone in the partner organisations who worked with her.”
“Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Miss Ewing’s family at this sad and difficult time. Nothing can compensate them, Ashleigh’s friends and colleagues for the loss of such a bright and caring young women.”
“Since the incident we have carried out an internal review of our involvement in Ronald Dixon’s care and we are satisfied that the individuals involved in his case acted professionally and provided appropriate support to him.”
“We have also, along with the other agencies involved, cooperated fully with the police and Health and Safety Executive’s investigations.”
“We will continue to fully cooperate with the coroner’s ongoing investigations, and also with the independent inquiry that we now expect the strategic health authority to commission to look into all aspects of Ronald Dixon’s contact with a range of agencies.”
“We accept that quite rightly there is a high degree of public interest in this tragic event, but until the coroner and the strategic health authority’s independent inquiry have completed their thorough investigations it would be inappropriate for us to comment on the services we provided to Ronald Dixon.”