[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 2 December, 2004, 15:11 GMT
Widow's anger at lack of blame
Enid Dodd
Mrs Dodd said it is always said lessons are learnt 'then it happens again'
The widow of a pensioner stabbed to death by a schizophrenic man is angry that an official report has not blamed anyone for failings before the attack.

Enid Dodd has moved to Australia from Prestatyn, north Wales, since her husband Brian, 72, was killed by Paul Khan, 35, from Cardiff, in March 2003.

A report published on Wednesday identified a series of failures in the care of Khan.

Enid Dodd said she was unhappy no individuals had been held responsible.

Speaking to BBC Wales from her new home, Mrs Dodd said she felt that while the report had been thorough, it did not go far enough in addressing who was to blame for the failures.

"I'm quite upset that they did actually find so many failures", she said.

"I think it's pretty obvious that the death of my husband could have been avoided - but that's not something they would want to admit in the report."

It was carried out for Cardiff Local Health Board, which is now overseeing a review of all mental health patients in the community.

Paul Khan
Paul Khan told police he had no memory of the incident

The report said that the health authorities failed to follow the safeguards they had put in place to keep control of Khan if his illness worsened.

Khan disappeared the day before Mr Dodd's death, but his parents were advised to inform the police themselves.

Mr Dodd, a retired accountant, was walking his two dogs when he was attacked with a large kitchen knife.

He suffered at least 28 knife blows to the head, neck and chest.

'Not good enough'

In its conclusion, the report said: "The event was difficult to predict because of the lack of specific and measurable relapse indicators."

Mrs Dodd said she was particularly angry that there seemed to be no focus for who was to blame:

"I am very, very upset about that," she said.

"That's all I wanted in the beginning - that someone would put their hand up - that someone made a mistake and that they would be disciplined for that.

"I'm very angry about it. Several people should be held accountable."

Mrs Dodd, who now lives with relatives, said she felt the same thing could happen again.

Admitted manslaughter

"They always end up saying that lessons have been learnt - but then it happens again. It's not good enough."

Brian and Enid Dodd
Enid Dodd said her husband's death could have been prevented

Health officials discussed the findings of the report with Mrs Dodd on Wednesday and she said she made her views very clear to them.

"They had a lot of sympathy for me - but that's about as far as it went," she said.

Khan admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and was jailed for life in October 2003.

The mental health charity, Sane, responded to Wednesday's findings of the inquiry into Khan's case.

Chief executive Marjorie Wallace said: "Mr Khan had a history of serious violence and was known to relapse when failing to take his medication, and to abuse street drugs.

"Yet, having been discharged by a tribunal to live in the community, the safeguards to protect himself and others were largely ignored.

"It is shocking that when he went missing those in charge of his care took no action, leaving his parents to sound the alarm.

"While such blatant failures of mental health services continue to happen, how can we expect patients, families and the public to keep any faith in the policy of care in the community?"




SEE ALSO:
Beach killer - QC inquiry call
31 Oct 03 |  North East Wales
Probe into patient's release
11 Oct 03 |  North East Wales



PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific