Sunday, 7 January 2007

The Murder of Jenny Morrison

On 23 November 1998, social worker Jenny Morrison, a 51-year-old grandmother, was murdered at the Thurleigh Road hostel for psychiatric patients, Wandsworth, London.

Anthony Joseph, a cocaine, crack, heroin and ecstasy and alcohol-addicted paranoid schizophrenic, had never been brought to trial or imprisoned, even though he had a long history of aggressive and criminal behaviours. Instead his past was one of psychiatric care; hostels, hospitals, 'care in the community' and the general washing and wringing of hands that seems, inevitably, to accompany such dreadful individuals these days.

The knife Joseph used to stab his social worker broke and, if the assault had ceased at this time, she may well have lived. Toyin Akande, the only member of staff on duty that day, saw her trying to shield herself from Joseph at this time but she fled the scene and made no attempt to help her, other than to call for the police.

A little while after leaving the room in search of another weapon, Joseph returned with a kitchen knife, with he began to stab his unfortunate victim once more. By the time he grew weary of the sport, Jenny had been stabbed a hundred and twenty seven times.

Michael Howlett, director of the Zito Trust, said this:

"If a patient stops taking his medication, he is not only putting his mental well-being at risk but also the safety of the public around him. The fact he could get kitchen knives in an environment that is not closely supervised just adds to the outrage in this horror. THIS IS A CLASSIC CASE OF SOMEONE BEING DISCHARGED IMPROPERLY WITHOUT A PROPER RISK ASSESSMENT. The situation Jenny Morrison was in was absolutely appalling."
On 14 July 1999, The Independent informed us thus:

"Joseph, 27, showed no emotion as the jury of five women and six men decided by a majority verdict that he was guilty of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility...

The Old Bailey trial was told that NO RISK ASSESSMENT HAD BEEN CARRIED OUT ON JOSEPH WHEN HE WAS RELEASED INTO THE COMMUNITY. He had not taken his medication for at least four months - SOMETHING THE SOCIAL WORKERS WERE POWERLESS TO ENFORCE - and had threatened to harm Ms Morrison...

The Old Bailey trial heard that Joseph carried out the killing while believing that HE WAS THE SON OF GOD AND HAD BEEN ORDERED TO DO SO BY HIS 'CHRIST FAMILY'...

His parents, Roy and Maria Joseph, condemned the hostel for failing their son at the time of the killing."
Anthony Joseph's mother is Italian, his father Afro-Indian.

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