Schizophrenic son left to stab mum to death as doctors and police thought he was 'well dressed and from nice family'

A SCHIZOPHRENIC man who stabbed his mum to death could have been stopped on two occasions, a report has found.

Christian Lacey was being held in police custody just hours before he butchered his 63-year-old mum Liz on April 26, 2018.

Cops, a GP and mental health workers displayed an “unconscious bias” that Christian was not a danger – because he was “well dressed and from a nice family.”

Lacey, 21, was released from police two hours before the murder – despite trying to strangle his dad Johan Wierzbick and his half-brother Jacob Carfoot, the day before.

After he murdered his mum at her home in Garston in Liverpool, he walked to his grandmother’s home where he tried to kill her carer Edwina Holden – by knifing her 12 times according to the Liverpool Echo.

Liz’s brother Ian Wright discovered her body after what the report called “a manic act of violence.”


Lacey’s family rushed him to Royal Liverpool Hospital A&E on March 30 but his paranoid schizophrenia was missed.

On that occasion he had gone missing in London for hours, where he described giving his brand new mobile phone to a homeless man because he thought it had been hacked and he was going to die.

A medical worker noted at the time “he was a pleasant young man who did not appear to have any significant mental health issues’ and mistook his symptoms for Asperger's Syndrome and cannabis-induced psychosis, rather than schizophrenia.”


Lacey was first charged with murder and attempted murder but the Crown Prosecution Service agreed to accept a plea of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility after his illness came to light.

He is now a patient at Ashworth Hospital in Maghull in Liverpool after an indefinite hospital order was made.

Judge Clement Goldstone ordered Merseycare NHS Foundation Trust to make the report public.

The report states: “The review identified that in the panel's opinion the root cause of the incident was [Lacey's] complex presentation which was not explored by the practitioners in depth.

“This lack of exploration may have been due to [Lacey's] presentation as well as a lack of sufficient training in exploring psychopathology.

“This resulted in a delay in diagnosis and therefore untreated psychosis.


Mental health workers found his behaviour was not typical of paranoid schizophrenia when examined but staff had failed to ask why he had assaulted his step brother and father according to the report.

The report continues “[Lacey] had turned the music up and walked into his room, and got him in a headlock and it was only after he managed to get off the strangle hold after a struggle that he ran out of the room.

“[Mr Carfoot] left the house and went to his friend's house. He has since the incident, commented that [Lacey] would often come into his room and sit quietly at the end of his bed and that he had also stated that the black towels in the bathroom had bad vibes and that they were evil.”

“The family were clearly scared of what had happened and had locked their bedroom doors at night.

“The next morning he was taken to his GP and was told about the attack. The GP advised him techniques to deal with anger.

“Whilst at the GP surgery, [Lacey's] father found a bread knife, wrapped in clothing, in his bedroom.


“He then contacted the police as he was worried about the risks.”

He was brought to St Anne Street Police Station where he assessed by Merseycare staff from the Criminal Justice Liaison Team but they did not think he needed to be sectioned.

The report also found mental health staff are often discouraged from asking incriminating questions.

The report said: "This may have prevented the CLJT Practitioner from exploring the reasons why [Lacey] had been involved in the incident with his step-brother. However, when this was explored during the interviews with the practitioner, it was not immediately described as the reason for not exploring these issues.

"It appeared that [Lacey's] presentation which was fairly settled in manner, coherent conversations and his social circumstances that his family background and upbringing did not suggest an underlying serious psychotic illness or that there were risks of serious violence.'

A review panel found some CJLT members did not receive formal training in mental health before joining the team.

Merseycare has since ordered recommendations such as new training to recognise psychosis, training in risk assessment and reminders to properly question family and carers of mental health patients.

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