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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 January 2008, 15:09 GMT
Care call after son kills father
Gary and Jim Ward (picture by Spindrift)
Gary Ward and his father Jim shared a house in Ayr
A mother has said the death of her husband at the hands of their son could have been avoided.

Elizabeth Ward, 64, claimed psychiatrists knew her husband Jim, 62, was at risk of being harmed by her son Gary, 39, at their home in Ayr.

A jury at the High Court in Glasgow found paranoid schizophrenic Gary Ward not guilty of murdering his father because of his insanity.

Lord Brailsford ordered Mr Ward to be detained at the State Hospital.

Mrs Ward: "Psychiatrists knew Gary's father was possibly in danger because the voices Gary heard were telling him to harm him.

"But every time Gary came out of hospital he would be sent back to live with his father."

Three psychiatrists testified that Mr Ward was insane at the time of the attack on 7 June last year.

It wasn't Gary who killed his father that night. It was his mental illness
Elizabeth Ward

The jury held that he was not responsible for his actions and so found him not guilty.

The court heard voices which came from the TV and radio told Mr Ward that his father was The Jackal.

He told doctors he asked his dad to put plastic cable ties on his hands so he could keep him at arm's length until police arrived.

But when he refused he said the voices told him: "He is the Jackal. Get the Jackal."

A 999 recording of the attack was played to the jury.

Mr Ward's father, who was separated from his mother, was stabbed 11 times.

Mrs Ward said her son was under the care of a psychiatrist and a community psychiatric nurse.

'Horrific tragedy'

He was given injections of an anti-psychotic drug which were said to last a fortnight.

She said: "We repeatedly complained that after 10 days the effects of the drug wore off and Gary became delusional and began to hear the voices again.

"I asked for more help for him and told them repeatedly the injections were no use. But they weren't changed.

"Ironically Gary was due to get another injection on the day he killed his dad, but it was too late.

"I am convinced that if he had been given a accommodation on his own, and different drug treatment his dad might still be alive today."

Lord Brailsford detained Mr Ward on an interim compulsion order.

He will appear before the court again in three months when the judge will decide if he should pronounce a full order detaining him without limit of time.

Mrs Ward visited her husband and son every day and spent every weekend with them.

She said: "It wasn't Gary who killed his father that night. It was his mental illness.

"It's been a horrific tragedy for us all, but as a family we still love Gary and we are all standing by him and hope that one day he will get better."

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