Man accused of murdering Don Lock ‘thought victim was armed’

Matthew Daley leaving Crawley Magistrates Court , July 2015. Photo by Eddie Mitchell. SUS-161104-135448001
Matthew Daley leaving Crawley Magistrates Court , July 2015. Photo by Eddie Mitchell. SUS-161104-135448001

A paranoid man who knifed a motorist to death thought his elderly victim was holding a weapon because of a Humphrey Bogart film, a court heard.

Matthew Daley stabbed Donald Lock 39 times on July 16 last year after the 79-year-old shunted into the back of his vehicle at around 16mph.

Don Lock

Don Lock

Seven months after the killing, Daley, 35, told one doctor that he thought the pensioner had a weapon because of a reference to Bogart movie The African Queen in which a character pulls a gun on the hero, who notices because of the glint of the weapon in sunlight.

However, a doctor ruled Daley was not suffering from psychosis at the time he repeatedly stabbed Mr Lock in the head, chest, neck and back.

Daley claims he was acting in self-defence and denies murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He has a history of delusions, hallucinations, hearing voices and often becoming aggressive when under stress and anxiety.

On the day of the attack, Daley said he believed great-grandfather Mr Lock was threatening him from inside his car and as he got out and walked towards him.

During the fourth day of his murder trial at Lewes Crown Court, the prosecution said Daley was acting in anger, rather than as a result of psychotic delusion.

Dr Andrew Johns, a consultant forensic psychiatrist at the Maudsley Hospital in London, giving evidence for the defence, said Daley told him he thought he saw Mr Lock holding a weapon as he approached because of a reference to a Humphrey Bogart film.

In Dr Johns’ report after interviewing Daley in February this year, he said: “Matthew told me ‘I couldn’t stop, I hit him in his arm then into his body.

“I made eye contact with a woman, I knew I had done something terribly wrong.’

“He said he was walking to his friend Katherine’s in tears and that when he got there she didn’t know why he was restless because she didn’t know what he had done.”

Daley also told Dr Johns he felt as if his goat Naomi was protecting him as he carried out the attack.

Dr Johns’ report said: ‘He told me, ‘I went to a church but the doors were shut, I went to another church but the doors were shut there as well.

“’I wasn’t angry I was afraid, I felt trapped. I don’t know why I didn’t stop, I wasn’t aware of what was doing. Some of the witnesses are wrong, the coroner’s report is wrong, it didn’t go in that many times.

“’I felt as if Naomi was protecting me. I had the same awareness as when I’m with Naomi and Honey.

“’I thought he had a weapon. Remember with Humphrey Bogart in the African Queen when he sees someone on the boat with a gun, there’s a glint in his left hand.

“I thought I saw a glint in his hand as he came over. It was instinctive, I didn’t want him to die, it happened because of his driving’.”

Dr Johns also said Daley didn’t often tell doctors when he was hearing voices.

Philip Bennetts, prosecuting, said to Dr Johns during cross-examination: “You say Matthew believed his girlfriend was having sex with others and was visiting prostitutes in Brighton.

“There were several changes of care workers who didn’t seem to know Matthew very well.

“In the light of material we have been through he demonstrated he is not a good reporter of his illness. He was not forthcoming with his symptoms.

“But he was diagnosed with a two-year history of auditory hallucinations. What was the source of that information? Mr Daley?”

Dr Johns replied: “Yes, but the local mental health services didn’t get a full picture.

“All those doctors are reporting what consultants has asserted was Asperger’s, but that assessment had not taken place. It was an incorrect reading of the medical records.”

Mr Bennetts added: “There’s no material from March to July of 2015 that showed evidence of psychosis leading up to the offence. No low thoughts or self harm.

“One day he said he was feeling great after spending the day with his animals.

“There was a ferocious assault - that fits with a person acting in anger.”

Dr Johns said: “Yes, it does. However I find no evidence that simple anger explains his actions.

“Matthew Daley gave different accounts of his symptoms to different people. Paranoia schizophrenia maybe episodic or chronic.”

The CEO of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust wrote a letter of apology to the Daleys over the care their son received.

David Howker, defending Daley, said: “His family noticed a change in his behaviour in which prior to the incident there was ‘a week of incidents’ which caused great concern.

“He grabbed the steering wheel when his mother was driving causing her to swerve to the side of the road so he could exit the car.

“The NHS trust carried out a review after Matthew’s arrest and found the following admissions; firstly an unclear diagnosis, there was no evidence a diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder had been formalised, no evidence clinicians asserted a focused development, history or used specific assessment to clarify a diagnosis of Asperger’s.”

Dr Johns said: “There was a mismatch in the services as he was sent for a referral, but it was misinterpreted as Daley was being sent for help rather than a diagnosis.

“An assessment for Asperger’s was never carried out.

“There were times when he was pretty obviously unwell and times where he would by much more functional. He had been more or less unwell from the age of 19.”

Daley left his job as a lifeguard because he couldn’t cope with the voices of colleagues telling him he was a paedophile and in 2012 said he wanted to apply for an RAF desk job, but feared his mental health diagnosis would prevent him applying.

Jurors were also told Daley had stopped taking his anti-psychotic medication for up to a year before the attack.

Dr Johns added: “In January 2015 he bought two goats and a foal and initially kept them in his flat because she had nowhere else to keep them.

“He spent £600 on a horse but was running out of money to feed himself. The view his medical team took that he was able to manage his finances well was born out.”

Daley 35, of St Elmo Road, Worthing, denies murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility. The trial continues.

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