The increasingly-unhinged behaviour of a mentally-ill religious convert in the hours before he stabbed his parents has been described in detail to a coroners’ court in Belfast.
Greg Lamont’s erratic behaviour culminated in him killing his father John and wounding his mother Elizabeth at their Ballymena home on January 15, 2013, as they waited for him to be taken to mental hospital.
The inquest into John Lamont’s death also heard that, when interviewed in the wake of the tragic incident, Greg also admitted killing the family dog, believing that it had “supernatural powers”.
The court heard Greg – aged 26 at the time – had been off sick from his job as a hospital porter for about two weeks.
Elizabeth said he had previously been a drug-taker – saying he “no doubt” used cannabis, and possibly cocaine, plus injecting bodybuilding steroids – but had not done so for over two years.
The inquest heard he had previously exhibited odd behaviour – once claiming that a device behind a teddy bear’s eye was watching him – and his mother put this down to possible after-effects of drugs.
As she talked on the phone to her friend on the evening of January 14, 2013, she noticed him carrying bin bags full of clothes around their Carnvale house. He picked up Bibles, photos, and then a TV, and took them on to the lawn.
At some point, he said: “Jesus is coming for me.”
She began to become frightened, and called the out-of-hours health service.
The inquest heard from the doctor who attended the house shortly after 1am.
In a statement to the court, Dr Nagaiah Jayaprakash said the family informed him Greg had become a Christian, but that he had not been to church for about two weeks.
When he interviewed Greg at the house, the 26-year-old told him: “Jesus is coming to get me... We’re murderers. We’re sinners. Jesus was crucified because of you and me.”
The doctor – whose actions that night were praised by the family – made efforts to secure a bed for Greg at Holywell mental hospital.
An ambulance and police were called. They only arrived after the stabbing.
In her evidence, Elizabeth said she had been outside the house when she heard her husband – a 64-year-old retired RAF technician – cry out.
When she entered she found Greg and John in the kitchen.
Greg then approached her and “pushed the knife gently into the right-hand side of my stomach”.
He was not aggressive, but rather seemed to be “in a trance”, she said.
A post-mortem found John had been stabbed nine times.
He was pronounced dead at 3.15am.
Greg was acquitted of murder and attempted murder in 2014 due to insanity.
The inquest concluded on Wednesday, March 16. Here are the findings.