London

Son with paranoid schizophrenia admits killing Tamara Holboll

Peter Holboll Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Peter Holboll stabbed his mother in her Kentish Town flat

A man with paranoid schizophrenia who killed his mother has been sent to a secure hospital for an unlimited time.

Peter Holboll, 44, pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The Old Bailey heard he stabbed his mother, Tamara, 76, before setting fire to her flat in Kentish Town in May.

In the days before her death, both she and her son had pleaded for him to be admitted to hospital because his mental health was deteriorating.

'Overly dramatic'

Edward Brown, QC for the prosecution, said they were in contact with South Camden Rehab and Recovery Team (CRRT) and Crisis, a team of professionals able to provide rapid assessment and support.

Following inquiries, the Holbolls were told there were no beds available and it was safe to send him home.

Notes written by staff at CRRT also recorded Ms Holboll as being "overly dramatic" after she was adamant someone should take her son away.

Image caption The fire in the ground floor flat started just before 06:00 BST on 9 May

In a statement, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust, responsible for both CRRT and Crisis, said: "We would like to take this opportunity to offer our deepest sympathies to Mrs Holboll's family for their loss.

"We have undertaken a Serious Incident Investigation into this tragedy and clearly it is inappropriate for us to release our findings prior to the conclusion of the criminal justice process."

The statement added that Holboll had been "well known to the South Camden Rehabilitation and Recovery Team".

Mr Holboll's involvement with the Mental Health Services dates back to 1994.

He had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act on 10 separate occasions.

'Sad story'

The court heard he also pleaded guilty to arson. Five adults and a child in flats above Ms Holboll's managed to escape the blaze unhurt.

Following the fire, the 44 year old fled the scene before giving himself up to Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead.

The Recorder of London, Judge Brian Barker QC, said: "This is a sad story on any view. You have a long history of mental illness, and the management of that illness has been difficult, for you, your mother, and the various services you have come into contact with."

He said what had happened in the days before the attack "highlights how difficult it is to assess the severity of relapses and allocate resources that are available".

Judge Barker imposed hospital orders in respect of the two counts Holboll had admitted, accepting he had set the fire to destroy personal property, and acknowledging remorse had been expressed on his behalf.

Prosecutor Edward Brown QC said Holboll had told psychiatrists he had "flipped out" and lost his temper.

"Doctors have concluded that the defendant was suffering a significant relapse into schizophrenia, suffering auditory hallucinations, and they concluded that his ability to form any rational judgment was severely impaired through mental illness," Mr Brown said.

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