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Peckham stabbing death: Son detained after killing mother

Forensic officers outside house in Ethnard Road, Peckham Image copyright PA
Image caption Maureen Watkins was found at a house in Ethnard Road, Peckham

A man who stabbed his mother to death at their home has been indefinitely detained under the Mental Health Act.

Maureen Watkins, 75, was found dead in Ethnard Road, Peckham, south-east London, on 16 November.

Edward Watkins, 55, of the same address, pleaded guilty, at the Old Bailey, to her manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.

Watkins was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the killing, the court heard.

The Old Bailey heard how Mrs Watkins was stabbed five times in the back with a kitchen knife by her son, who had believed he was controlled by evil spirits.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Police officers found Mrs Watkins' body in the hallway with a 17cm kitchen knife beside her

Prosecutor Timothy Cray QC said the defendant had a history of mental health issues.

He lived with his mother, who was his primary carer.

In August 2018 Edward Watkins had "burst into the flat of his neighbours and started to attack them," said Mr Cray.

'Lying on pavement'

"He was screaming abuse and appeared to be fixated with paedophiles.

"The attack was extremely distressing for the neighbours and led to a violent struggle in which one of the neighbours was dragged down the stairs in the flat."

Mr Cray told the court Mrs Watkins had made a call to the South London and Maudsley Trust (SLAM) stating that she was "struggling" with her son's behaviour and did not want him to live with her "permanently."

On 16 November, the defendant was seen lying down on the pavement with his arms out in front of him, saying he had just killed his mother.

Police officers were called and Mrs Watkins' body was found in the hallway with a 17cm kitchen knife beside her, Mr Cray said.

Watkins was sentenced to indefinite detention at a psychiatric hospital.

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