Father being held at mental health unit after admitting killing six-year-old son and partner at Bolton-le-Sands family home

Lisa Clay and Paul Chadwick.
Lisa Clay and Paul Chadwick.
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A father who has admitted killing his partner and six-year-old son at their Bolton-le-Sands family home is being held at a secure mental health unit, it has emerged.

Paul Chadwick, 34, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Lisa Clay, 40, and Joseph Chadwick on the grounds of diminished responsibility when he appeared at Preston Crown Court on Friday.

BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Undated handout photo issued by Lancashire Constabulary of Lisa Clay, 41, and her six-year-old boy Joseph Chadwick as Paul Chadwick, 34, has been charged with the murders of his partner and young son. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Saturday April 20, 2013. Chadwick, is accused of killing Lisa Clay, 40, and six-year-old Joseph, who were found dead at their bungalow in Bolton-le-Sands, Lancashire, on April 9. A Home Office post-mortem examination found they both died as a result of multiple stab wounds. See PA story POLICE Family. Photo credit should read: Lancashire Constabulary/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Undated handout photo issued by Lancashire Constabulary of Lisa Clay, 41, and her six-year-old boy Joseph Chadwick as Paul Chadwick, 34, has been charged with the murders of his partner and young son. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Saturday April 20, 2013. Chadwick, is accused of killing Lisa Clay, 40, and six-year-old Joseph, who were found dead at their bungalow in Bolton-le-Sands, Lancashire, on April 9. A Home Office post-mortem examination found they both died as a result of multiple stab wounds. See PA story POLICE Family. Photo credit should read: Lancashire Constabulary/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

The mother and son were found with multiple stab wounds at their dormer bungalow on Lowlands Road on April 9 after a family member alerted police.

The relative had been trying to contact the family and, after visiting their home, found Joseph in his bedroom and Ms Clay in the hallway.

Chadwick was also discovered with several self-inflicted stab wounds at the property and rushed to hospital seriously ill.

The freelance gardener wore a beige polo shirt when he appeared at the court via a video link from Guild Lodge, a secure mental health unit at Whittingham, Preston.

Flowers at the scene of the double murder at Lowlands Road, Bolton le Sands.

Flowers at the scene of the double murder at Lowlands Road, Bolton le Sands.

He spoke to confirm his pleas and to indicate that he understood the proceedings.

Prosecuting, Stuart Denney, said the pleas were acceptable to the Crown, which had previously authorised Lancashire Police to charge Chadwick with murder.

Mr Denney told the court: “The Crown considered if a jury could reasonably disagree with professional opinion, and bearing in mind the evidence of the defendant’s mother about his bizarre behaviour, things that were out of character, and his actions afterwards which involved a significant attempt on his own life, we believe the jury could not sensibly disagree with it.”

Recorder of Preston, Judge Anthony Russell QC, adjourned the case until October 30, when Chadwick will be sentenced for the double killing which stunned the quiet North Lancashire village.

Detective Supt Andy Murphy, from Lancashire Police’s Major Investigation Team, said: “This was an absolutely tragic case involving the death of a woman and a young child in horrific circumstances and while we will probably never know exactly why Paul Chadwick did what he did I am satisfied with today’s guilty plea which at least spares the families the ordeal of a trial.

“Our thoughts remain with those affected by this most appalling case.”

The funerals of Joseph and Ms Clay, who worked part-time on the checkout at Marks and Spencer in Lancaster, were held jointly at Morecambe Parish Church on May 3.

Loved ones paid tribute to a ‘fun-loving, cheeky, always smiling and beautiful’ child and ‘loving mummy’.

Joseph was a pupil at Bolton-le-Sands CE Primary School.

After the tragedy, his headteacher Tim Cross spoke of his shock and sadness.

“Joseph had only attended our school for a few months, but within that time he had endeared himself to us as a lovely, lively boy, full of fun, and quickly making friends in his year group,” he said.