Bolton-le-Sands killings: Father detained under Mental Health Act

Lisa Clay and her son Joseph Chadwick.
Lisa Clay and her son Joseph Chadwick.

A father who stabbed his six-year-old son and partner to death at their quiet Bolton-le-Sands home has been detained under the Mental Health Act.

Paul Chadwick, 34, previously admitted the manslaughter of Joseph Chadwick and Lisa Clay, 40, on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Lisa Clay and Paul Chadwick.

Lisa Clay and Paul Chadwick.

The freelance gardener repeatedly stabbed them in the family’s bungalow in Lowlands Road on April 9.

He also stabbed himself several times.

Joseph, described as ‘cheeky and fun-loving’ by relatives, was found in his bedroom and Ms Clay, who worked part time at Marks and Spencer in Lancaster, in the hallway.

They were discovered by a relative who visited the address after unsuccessful attempts to contact them.

At sentencing at Preston Crown Court today, it was decided by Judge Justice King that Chadwick should stay at Guild Lodge psychiatric hospital.

He was sentenced to a hospital order and made the subject of a restriction order under the Mental Health Act.

Detective Supt Paul Withers, 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 sentence and pleased the family were spared the ordeal of a trial.

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

Tim Cross, headteacher at Bolton-le-Sands CE Primary School, where Joseph attended, is working with the tragic child’s grandparents on a permanent memorial.

Mr Cross said a plaque, bench or tree could form part of a lasting tribute to Joseph, who had been at the 300-pupil primary school for one term.

He previously said: “I went to speak to Joseph’s grandparents towards the end of the summer term, when things had calmed down a little bit, about whether there was something we could do. It’s one of my objectives for this school to re-visit that.

“We all miss Joseph. He was a lovely little boy. Two of his buddies still speak about him. We remember him by saying ‘we used to do this with Joseph, didn’t we’?

“I got to know his mum a little bit because they had to appeal to get a school place here. She was chatty and lovely. What happened was devastating and it still is.

“We hope that whatever happens to Paul he gets whatever help he can because clearly he’s very ill.”

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), previously authorised police to charge Chadwick with murder, but the lesser manslaughter charges were accepted after psychiatric reports.

Claire Hilton, senior prosecutor for CPS North West, said: “This is a tragic case involving the death of a mother and son who had their lives ahead of them.

“The psychiatric reports concluded that Mr Chadwick’s responsibility for his actions was substantially impaired at the time.

“We acknowledge that nothing can make up for the loss felt by the family and friends of Lisa Clay and Joseph Chadwick, and our thoughts are very much with them all at this time.”