Cumbria

John MacMillan death: Barrow man killed by his son after hospital error

Jonathan MacMillan Image copyright Cumbria Police
Image caption Jonathan MacMillan was sentenced at Preston Crown Court

A man who killed his father five days after he was wrongly released from mental health unit has been detained.

Jonathan MacMillan, 28, was discharged from a facility in Maidstone, Kent, on 13 June - a month early - following an administrative error.

Five days later he killed his father John in the family home in Provincial Street, Barrow, Cumbria.

The judge at Preston Crown Court heard MacMillan was severely mentally ill and sentenced him to a hospital order.

MacMillan previously denied murder but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The court heard he was not due to be discharged from a secure ward at the Cygnet Health private hospital in Maidstone until 14 July.

But because of the administrative error he was released too early and he returned to his family and killed his father on 18 June.

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption John MacMillan was found with chest and throat injuries

His father John was discovered with serious chest and throat injuries at the property and was declared dead at the scene.

Two psychiatrists told the court that MacMillan was severely mentally ill, and neither could understand why he had been let out of the private hospital in Kent.

The Recorder of Preston, Judge Mark Brown, handed down an order detaining him in a secure hospital, saying it was an "appalling state of affairs" and MacMillan should never have been released into the community.

NHS England said an independent investigation is under way but was "in its very early stages", and expressed its condolences to John MacMillan's family.

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