Case: Killed by his son: Keith Drummond
Keith Drummond
Mark Drummond
Status: Solved
Categories: Mental Illness, Domestic
Case synopsis:

It had been a quiet family dinner on Bank Holiday Monday, May 3, 2010.

Keith Drummond, a 77 year-old retired bus conductor, and his wife Carmel said goodbye to their son Mark at 6pm and settled down for a quiet evening at their home in Barmouth Avenue, Perivale, west London.

A short time later the doorbell rang. Carmel heard her husband go downstairs to answer it and recognised her son's voice. Then her husband cried: 'What are you doing?'

From upstairs on the landing she saw Mark hitting his father with both fists and dialled 999. Concerned for her own safety, she did not go down when the doorbell rang a second time and waited for the police to arrive.

Keith Drummond was found slumped on the stairs with blood on his clothes and in a pool on the floor and was taken to hospital for emergency surgery.

His son, who had remained standing by the garden gate, put his hands in the air and told police: 'It was me, you may as well kill me now my heart has stopped. I stabbed him.'

Mark was arrested for attempted murder but sadly his father died on May 30 after developing multiple organ failure and emphysema due to the stab wound to his stomach which had perforated his liver and right colon.

Detectives quickly realised that Mark Drummond had a history of mental illness. He was first diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia after being admitted to hospital in March 1995.

Since then he had received care in the community and was on medication.

But in the weeks leading up to the attack, according to his mother, he had stopped taking his medication.

Prosecutor Sarah Whitehouse explained at the Old Bailey: 'He was under considerable stress because he was unemployed and having financial difficulties.

'His mother said that he was anxious and was constantly walking from his address to that of his parents during the day and telephoning them at night. His parents were providing financial support.'

Mrs Drummond said she had tried to contact the mental health team - who had last seen Mark in December 2009 - but was unable to get any support from them or the local GP.

'According to Mrs. Drummond, the defendant was not taking his medication because of an error with the prescription being issued to the wrong pharmacy,' said Miss Whitehouse.

Mark Drummond was charged with murder but psychiatrists for both prosecution and defence concluded that Drummond was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, which diminished his responsibility for the killing.

On April 1, 2011, Mark Drummond, 44, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sent to a secure mental hospital without limit of time under sections 37 and 41 of the Mental Health Act.

He cannot be released except with the approval of the Home Secretary or a Mental Health Tribunal.

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