Mother of murder accused tells of fight to get him sectioned

Accused Matthew Daley is being held in a secure unit. Picture: PA

Accused Matthew Daley is being held in a secure unit. Picture: PA

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The mother of a mentally ill man accused of murdering another motorist broke down in tears yesterday as she revealed failings by health professionals in treating him.

Linda Daley said her family raised numerous concerns with doctors over the years, telling them they did not think Matthew Daley, 35, had been properly diagnosed. She told Lewes Crown Court they had “pleaded” with mental health experts to section him to protect himself and others before he fatally knifed Donald Lock.

Mrs Daley agreed that the day her son allegedly murdered Mr Lock was “the day that all your nightmares came true”. She said Daley had huge debt problems and his relationship with his girlfriend had broken down recently, leaving him “distraught”.

Mrs Daley said: “We were never provided with a proper diagnosis. We were frequently in meetings but we were not listened to.

“ It’s been continual over the last ten years. In the past ten years we have pleaded to people, it has been on a regular basis.”

She would listen to the radio on her drive into work fearing news about an incident relating to her son would emerge.

The court heard that last week the chief executive of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust wrote to her family apologising, saying the care for Daley “should have been better”.

Of the apology, Mrs Daley said: “It’s ten years too late.”

Daley is accused of murdering Mr Lock, 79, by knifing him 39 times in a “ferocious” attack on the A24 at Findon, near Worthing, West Sussex, on 16 July last year.

The attack happened after Mr Lock, who was returning from a cycling meeting, crashed at about 16mph into the back of Daley’s car after Daley made an emergency stop. Daley allegedly abused great-grandfather Mr Lock as he stabbed him.

One witness said Daley, who is being held in a medium-secure unit after suffering mental health problems for ten years, looked “expressionless” during the attack, like he was “having a passport 
photo” taken.

Mr Lock, who had recently been given the all-clear from prostate cancer, died at the scene.

Daley, formerly of St Elmo Road, Worthing, denies murder. The case continues.

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