Woman from Blackpool tried to slit her friend’s throat

The case was heard at Liverpool Crown Court
The case was heard at Liverpool Crown Court

An elderly woman who tried to slit her friend’s throat has been sent to a secure hospital indefinitely under the Mental Health Act.

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Schizophrenic Marie Seyferth, 68, who has previously tried to kill her own mother, went to visit her friend shortly after being evicted from her flat in Blackpool.

Liverpool Crown Court heard Seyferth, who was under the care of Blackpool Council’s mental health team, bought a five-inch blade at BHS in the resort before travelling to see her friend in Warrington.

After the attack – at the St Mary’s Centre on May 18, 2016 – the 68-year-old said she used to live with the victim in St Helens and claimed she had been used as a slave by her for 25 years.

The court was told Seyferth went with the intention of slitting the victim’s throat.

The woman, now 70, needed nine stitches after suffering a five-inch cut to the right side of her neck.

She was also left with her finger hanging off after trying to defend herself from the attack.

Seyferth told police that she had wanted to kill the victim.

The court heard she had moved to Blackpool in 2015 and met regularly with the mental health team but had her medication withdrawn at her request.

Judge Neil Flewitt, QC, said the team supervising her was not a specialist forensic team and did not have the degree of expertise needed to deal with the difficulties she posed.

Seyforth, who was accompanied by two mental health nurses, admitted attempted murder and possessing an offensive weapon.

The judge said the attack must have been ‘particularly painful and distressing’ for the victim and will have had a profound effect on her.

“Both at the scene and later Mrs Seyferth made it clear that she had wanted and indeed tried to kill Miss McGowan,” he added.

He pointed out that Seyferth has had long-standing mental health difficulties and in 1973 and 1976 she had been made the subject of hospital orders, one for trying to kill her mum.

In hospital

Psychiatrist Lucy Bacon had told the judge Marie Seyferth is responding to treatment in hospital and it was envisaged she would eventually, after some years, be allowed back into the community under the care of a specialised team.