Cambridgeshire

Samantha Ho beheading: Wife killing was 'unexpected tragedy'

Samantha Ho Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption Samantha Ho was found dead at a house in Curlew Place, St Neots, in August 2015

The beheading of a woman by her husband thought to have been triggered by an X Factor episode was an "unexpected tragedy", a report has found.

Samantha Ho, 39, was killed by Timothy Allen at their home in St Neots, Cambridgeshire on 29 August 2015.

Allen suffered psychiatric problems and a review found there was a "possible missed opportunity" after a GP appointment the day before the killing.

But it said her death could not have been "predicted or prevented".

Allen, of Curlew Place, St Neots was detained under the Mental Health Act in March 2016 after admitting manslaughter by diminished responsibility.

The court heard that he suffered a "delusion" during the ITV show, believing dancers on screen were "puppets being controlled by a puppet master".

He then attempted to take his own life before turning the knife on his wife and their pet dog, which also died.

Image copyright Cambs Police
Image caption Allen tried to take his own life before killing his wife

A domestic homicide review by Huntingdonshire Community Safety Partnership, which is anonymised but the BBC understands relates to Ms Ho's death, said "nothing suggested" she was at risk and there was no history of violence to her or others from Allen.

He had suffered from psychiatric problems, including paranoid schizophrenia, following a motorbike accident in 2004.

A report by NHS England published concurrently to the review found he "did not engage well with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) services and did not comply with treatment offered".

It concluded CPFT "should have taken a proactive long-term view rather than focusing on short-term management".

Image caption Forensics officers examined the property where Ms Ho was found

The report also found he had a history of failing to take his medication which, coupled with his lack of healthcare engagement, "should have triggered a more detailed discussion and treatment options".

Allen had been to see a GP three times shortly before the killing, including on 28 August, after which "it is felt that there was a missed opportunity for a phone call at least to have been made".

Image caption Friends and neighbours left flowers outside the house where Samantha Ho died

In response, NHS England Midlands and East said it would "work closely with the relevant organisations to ensure that lessons are learned and any necessary improvements are put in place".

CPFT said it had "strengthened our processes around discharging patients to primary care" while its staff are "now based at all GPs' surgeries across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough ensuring improved integration".

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