Family's anguish at diagnosis errors that led to dad's murder

The grieving family of a murdered dad have criticised health experts after his killer's schizophrenia was missed 'time and time again.'

Wednesday, 20th July 2016, 10:36 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th July 2016, 11:39 am
St Annes businessman Ian Dollery, with his wife Andrea, during happier times

Robert Kay – who claimed he was the ‘son of Satan’ – was sentenced to life in prison on Monday after knifing engineer Ian Dollery at least 30 times in a ferocious attack.

Kay, 49, knifed engineer Ian, 51, at least 30 times in a ferocious and unprovoked attack in the garage of his £450,000 seaside home in York Road, St Annes.

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

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Mr Dollery died in hospital in the early hours of June 19 last year.

During the week long trial at Preston Crown Court, Kay accepted he had killed Mr Dollery but claimed his responsibility was diminished due to his schizophrenia – which was formally diagnosed following his arrest.

The court heard Kay had been reporting symptoms such as hallucinations and hearing voices for more than 20 years but those symptoms were consistent with chronic drug induced psychosis.

Schizophrenia was formally diagnosed at Ashworth Secure Hospital where he has been detained since his arrest.

Handing down a sentence of life with a minimum term of 23 years, Judge Brown said: “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.

“At the time of the killing you had taken a lot of amphetamines after others had warned you about that drug and appreciating its effect on you.”


It’s impossible to sum up Ian in a few short sentences. He was our husband, our father, and we miss him every second of every day. He was a kind, gentle, compassionate man who loved life and avoided confrontation - truly ‘one of the good guys’.

It has taken 13 months for the judicial system to confirm that our father and husband was murdered by a man with a mental illness that was undiagnosed and untreated for over 20 years.

There is no doubt in our minds that the huge cocktail of drugs including cocaine, ecstasy, morphine, heroin, amphetamine, methamphetamine, cannabis, methadone and alcohol he took that night triggered this barbaric attack.

Ian’s wife Andrea and daughter Grace were there at the time and fought off the assailant. Andrea is only here today due to Grace’s courage and quick-thinking.

Our family’s past - full of private, happy memories - is now permanently tainted by this utterly unprovoked and heinous act. The best we can do now is imitate life, not live it.

It’s difficult to find a reason to keep going other than to support each other. Andrea has lost half of her life, half of herself and all of her future. A truly broken heart, trying to keep life and limb together.

With only limited assistance in place for victims, most of the support provided is through charities such as Hundred Families. In stark contrast Robert Kay has been well cared for and well fed by the state.

Our family has now joined one of the hundred such families who lose a loved one to mental health crime every year. Opportunities to diagnose Robert Kay’s schizophrenia were missed time and time again by the health system.

During the trial the psychiatrist called as an expert witness admitted doctors were often reluctant to diagnosis schizophrenia because of the “stigma” it brings. This cannot be right and when combined with Robert Kay’s violent history and extensive drug he was a time bomb waiting to go off.