Killer's mental health carers 'missed opportunities'

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Media captionJohn McGrath was killed by William Barnard with a knife

Health workers missed vital chances to assess the state of mind of a man who later killed his grandfather, a report has concluded.

William Barnard, 32, stabbed John McGrath, 81, in July 2009.

Barnard was found guilty of manslaughter and is now detained in Rampton high security hospital.

The findings have been published following an independent investigation for the East Midlands Strategic Health Authority.

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust has apologised to the family and said all five recommendations made in the report had been acted upon.

'Below standard'

Barnard, of Wesley Place, Stapleford, had stopped taking his medication and was not placed in a secure mental health unit.

In April 2009, three months before the killing, a worker went to his home to carry out an assessment that could have resulted in Barnard being sectioned.

He was not at home and an assessment was not carried out.

Barnard was not seen again by a member of his mental health team before the killing.

Image caption Mr McGrath was stabbed 56 times by his grandson

In June 2010, an internal report by Nottinghamshire NHS Healthcare Trust said Barnard's care had fallen "below acceptable standards" and highlighted 24 occasions when either family members or other people contacted mental health staff with concerns over Barnard's behaviour.

The independent report concluded that the care and treatment of Barnard was "misguided" in the three months prior to the attack, but said there was no certainty that Barnard would have been detained if an assessment had been carried out.

Barnard's family said they disagreed. They said his behaviour was so alarming he should have been sectioned and said there was "systemic failings" on the part of Nottinghamshire NHS Healthcare Trust.

In the attack in which he inflicted 56 wounds on his grandfather he also seriously injured his grandmother, Mable McGrath.

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