North West Wales

Lessons to be learned over Gwynedd family killings

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Media captionSuzanne Jones, 34, and her son William, two, had been stabbed to death

A wife and child of a man who killed them at the family home in Gwynedd were let down by mental health services, a serious case review has found.

David Wyn Jones, 42, stabbed Suzanne Jones, 34, and two-year-old son William at the home in Tremadog on 30 March, 2012.

He later admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The review said agencies should have shared information more quickly but the outcome may not have changed.

When the police arrived at the house they found Jones' wife and son had been stabbed to death with a kitchen knife.

Jones told officers he had been hearing voices, and thought William was the devil.

Image copyright North Wales Police
Image caption David Wyn Jones is being held in hospital under mental health provisions

Caernarfon Crown Court sentenced him under section 37 of the Mental Health Act to remain at a secure unit for an indefinite time.

A previous hearing was told he had been the subject of delusional behaviour in the period leading up to the deaths.

The serious case review, published on Wednesday, found Jones' mental health problems were known to the authorities but the needs of his family had not been rigorously assessed.

"Hindsight along with a known outcome provides a privileged vantage point devoid of competing priorities and the complexities of exercising professional judgement in extremely complex cases such as this one," it said.

"The family members noted that there were many victims of this tragedy and undoubtedly all those involved whether in a personal or professional capacity will have been greatly affected.

"Undoubtedly if anyone involved with this family had predicted the tragic outcome, responses would have been different."

The review found a more rigorous assessment of the family's needs may have provided an easier answer to whether the tragedy could have been avoided.

It also said more rigorous sharing of information between police, social services and mental health professionals may have helped.

A Domestic Homicide Review into the case, also released on Wednesday, added: "Had this occurred, the impacts and risks arising from paternal mental health problems upon the family dynamics may have been better understood by the agencies working with the family."

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