‘Misunderstanding’ led to delay in hospital place for psychotic son

John Lamont, who was killed at his home in Ballymena
John Lamont, who was killed at his home in Ballymena

A delay in admission to mental hospital for a man who went on to stab his parents was down to a “misunderstanding or miscommunication”.

On Tuesday, an inquest began into the death of ex-RAF technician John Lamont, who was stabbed by his son Greg on January 15, 2013.

John Lamont and his wife Elizabeth – who was also stabbed in the same incident, but survived – had witnessed his increasingly odd behaviour over a number of hours, starting the previous evening.

Dr Nagaiah Jayaprakash – whose actions that night are highly-praised by the family, and who Elizabeth has credited with saving her life – arrived at about 1am and realised Greg had to be sectioned.

The inquest heard about numerous phone calls in the early hours of the morning aimed at securing a bed for Greg at Holywell mental hospital, as well as getting transport and a police escort.

The court was told a member of staff at Holywell had been reluctant to grant admission straight away. It was later arranged that the hospital would accept him.

The situation deteriorated as they waited for transport and the police, and John was fatally stabbed by his psychotic son. He died at 3.15am.

The inquest findings, delivered on Wednesday, said there had been “a delay in Holywell Hospital agreeing to admit the son due to a misunderstanding or miscommunication”.