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Schizophrenic son sentenced for stabbing father to death

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A schizophrenic son who called police saying he had stabbed his father to death did commit the offence, a finding of facts trial has ruled.

Adam Merritt, of Lythemere, Orton Malborne, Peterborough, called police in the early hours of 29 June asking officers to visit his home and telling them he had “done something terrible”.

The 33-year-old said his dad was not alive anymore and told the call handler that he had not passed away from natural causes.

Adam Merritt, of Lythemere, Orton Malborne, Peterborough, who faced a finding of facts trial in his absence at Cambridge Crown Court today that concluded he did commit the offence kill his father.

Adam Merritt, of Lythemere, Orton Malborne, Peterborough, who faced a finding of facts trial in his absence at Cambridge Crown Court today that concluded he did commit the offence kill his father.

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After some further prompting, Merritt claimed he had used a kitchen knife to repeatedly stab his father, who had been his primary carer since being diagnosed with schizophrenia several years ago.

Officers visited the address at just after 1am, where Merritt followed their instructions and was arrested.

Police found a bloodied knife in the kitchen sink and Robert Merritt, 60, in the rear bedroom.

Paramedics arrived and he was declared dead at the scene.

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In a statement released at the time, Robert’s family described him as a loving father and grandfather, adding: “He had a great sense of humour and was fun to be around. He had a heart of gold and would help anyone.”

A post-mortem examination concluded he had died from stab wounds, with cuts to his arm and hands suggesting he had tried to defend himself.

In police interview Merritt answered no comment to all questions. He was later charged with murder but found not fit to stand trial.

However, a finding of facts trial in his absence at Cambridge Crown Court today (18 April) concluded he did commit the offence.

He was sentenced today at the same court to a hospital order with section 41 restrictions in place.

Detective Inspector Dale Mepstead, from the Beds, Cambs and Herts Major Crime Unit (MCU), said: “What Merritt did that day was a horrific act of violence, which saw a man who was a father, a grandfather, a friend, and a neighbour tragically lose his life.

“This has been a thorough and extensive investigation under terribly sad circumstances, and my thoughts and sympathies are with the family.”

 

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