Family says mental health report into 'Son of Satan' killer is a whitewash

Ian and Andrea Dollery
Ian and Andrea Dollery
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The family of a man brutally murdered by a self-styled ‘son of Satan’ say a mental health services report into the care and treatment of his killer is ‘a whitewash’.

Ian Dollery, 51, was knifed to death by schizophrenic Robert Kay in a frenzied random attack in the garage of his St Annes home.

Killer Robert Kay

Killer Robert Kay

Kay, 49, knifed Mr Dollery at least 30 times after spending the day injecting amphetamines and drinking strong lager.

He was caged for life, with an order to serve a minimum of 23 years, in 2016.

Today an independent report is due to be published by NHS England into the care and treatment of Kay, who they refer to as ‘Mr W’.

The report, despite finding numerous problems in the care and treatment of Kay, concludes that the murder was ‘not preventable’.

Points highlighted include a failure to appreciate Kay’s serious capacity for violence, keeping proper records and a lack of sharing information with other agencies.

It also acknowledges that Kay had ‘failed to engage’ with mental health workers, missing appointments and disappearing for months at a time.

During Mr Dollery’s murder his wife Andrea and daughter Grace interrupted the brutal attack and fought Kay off.

In a statement on the report today, the family said: “We are extremely disappointed with this report. We believe it is not fit for purpose.

“It is not challenging or questioning, it is complacent in accepting poor practice and we believe it will not help to implement necessary improvements in services to prevent similar tragedies in the future. It is a missed opportunity.

“Ian was a good man, much loved by his family, respected by his work colleagues, highly regarded by his friends.

“He led an exemplary life and did not deserve to die the way he did.

“Our family should have been protected from Robert Kay, who was exceptionally dangerous, at liberty and had a known and extensive history of serious violence, drug abuse and psychotic mental illness.”

The report says it was “highly predictable that he (Kay) would be involved in violence towards others”.

The family said: “It says, in essence, that there was nothing anybody could have done to keep our family safe. We disagree profoundly with that finding.

“The very least we owe Ian is to learn from this terrible murder, to make sure no other family has to go through what we have had to endure. We are not confident this report will go any way to achieving that.”

Andrea Dollery added: “We believe the whole report is nothing but a whitewash, an attempt to exempt mental health services from blame.”

Mr Dollery was in his garage cutting his hair in preparation for a holiday with his wife the following day when he was killed on June 18, 2015.

Kay, a schizophrenic and chronic drug abuser, had been drinking and injecting amphetamines at a bedsit nearby.

Armed with a large kitchen knife, Kay went out onto the street and upon seeing the garage door open launched the attack on Mr Dollery - a complete stranger.

Kay had been asked to leave a friend’s house around lunch time when he started ranting about being the son of Satan.

When Kay launched an unsuccessful attempt to have his murder conviction quashed last year, Judge Brown said at the time: “Although you have a long-standing mental illness you have failed to co-operate with the mental health services over the years and have continued to take drugs despite knowing they are bad for you.”

Mrs Dollery said: “The most frightening aspect was that if it had not been Ian, Kay would have killed someone else that day. He was out of control.”

“It was known he was not attending meetings about his mental health and it was known that he was violent and took drugs.

“He had countless criminal convictions for violence yet, according to the report, he hadn’t been in trouble for years.

“The report says Kay had ‘never me the criteria for detention under the Mental Health Act 1983’ although he had been detained in a mental hospital in 1994 after a drug overdose.

“They have attempted to keep Kay anonymous by referring to him as Mr W.

“They wanted us to keep Ian’s name out of it, but we refused.

“We don’t want someone else to go through what we have had to go through.”

Julian Hendy, the director of the Hundred Families charity, which supports families bereaved by killings by people with mental illnesses, said: “Our research has found that there have been 22 killings by Lancashire Care patients between 2002 and 2015. This is far too many.

“Like many others, we believe the murder of Ian Dollery was entirely preventable.”

NHS England said: “The aim of these investigations is to provide clear recommendations on any issues identified and provide learning across the NHS.”