Son ‘heard voices’ before killing his mum and jumping onto rail track in suicide bid

Son ‘heard voices’ before killing his mum and jumping onto rail track in suicide bid

by Tom Martin (May 2022)

POLICE who went to tell a Southport mum about her son’s suicide bid from a railway bridge tragically found that he had killed her.

Andrew Tinton had left the home they shared in Folkestone Road, in Kew, after striking his 82-year-old mum Rose Marie Tinton at least 30 times to the head and face with a lump hammer on January 29 last year.

Tinton, who has a long psychiatric history and is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, ended up at Kirkdale railway station and jumped onto the track breaking his pelvis, lower back and both legs.

Liverpool Crown Court heard on Thursday, May 19 that Tinton, now 55, had always co-operated with mental health services and taken his medication but the Covid lockdown meant he did not have his usual face to face appointments.

His mental health deteriorated during the lockdown exacerbated by the cancer death of his dad, who was key in his care, in August 2020.

Tinton pleaded guilty to manslaughter due to diminished responsibility and his barrister Julian Nutter said that the defendant, who heard voices telling him to kill his mum, could not put the tragedy right “but can do things to atone for his terrible sin.”

He said that Tinton,, like many people, had been unable to get access to treatment that they needed because of the pandemic.

Nigel Power, QC, had told the court that Tinton jumped from the railway bridge just after 3.30 pm and police later went to his home and his mum dead in the living room.

He was arrested for murder and admitted killing her. He explained that Tinton had a long psychiatric history and his condition deteriorated in 2020 because of the lockdown restrictions and his father’s death.

He continued his mental health appointments but only on the telephone and after his dad’s death in August his mental condition declined. In December he spoke of voices commanding him to harm himself.

In January he became concerned about his dad’s car “rotting in the garage” and two days later his mum tested negative for Covid and he told a mental health worker that the test log number was 666 which “freaked him out.”

The court heard that after leaving home following the killing the defendant initially went to Freshfield looking for an unmanned railway crossing to kill himself but could not find it and eventually ended up at Kirkdale station.

Mr Power said that a post mortem examination revealed that the victim, who was known as Marie, had been struck at least 30 times with the lump hammer and her skull and facial bones were shattered in multiple small pieces.

When police spoke to the defendant in February he claimed burglars had killed his mum but when formally interviewed in June he he had woken up feeling like “he was being controlled, like a puppet.”

When he went downstairs he heard voices telling him “to save her from pain and suffering” and he then noticed his trousers were covered in blood. He said he had grabbed her from behind and the voices were saying ‘free her.’

After hearing from a psychiatrist and reading reports, Judge Denis Watson, QC, imposed an indefinite hospital order on Tinton, who appeared via video link from Rowan View medium secured psychiatric units in Maghull.

He said that Tinton had been compliant with his medication regime but his paranoid schizophrenia led to auditory hallucinations and persecution complex and his irrational judgement may have resulted in loss of control.

“In normal circumstances there was little or no animosity between the two of you and you did your best to support and look after each other.

“On January 29 your mental health had deteriorated to the point that you attacked and killed your mother with a lump hammer, hitting her numerous times on the head."

The judge added that there was a natural upward trajectory of schizophrenia  which requires higher doses of medication to provide the same treatment effect.

He added that the tragedy would not have happened except for his relapse into the illness and said that his symptoms have improved while being treated since his detention.

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