Inquiry launched after man murdered mum-of-three with cattle stun gun

November 18, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

A inquiry was launched today after police and mental health workers failed to detain a stalker who murdered a mum-of-three with a brutal cattle stun gun.

Crazed John McFarlane, 41, smashed his way into Mary Griffiths’ home with an axe and dragged her from her bed in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, in May last year.

In a jealous rage he forced the 38-year-old fitness instructor outside and strangled her before shooting her with a bolt-gun in front of her three young daughters.

The Captive Bolt air-powered gun is similar to the weapon used by Javier Bardem’s character Chigurh in Oscar-winning movie No Country For Old Men.

It has since emerged that Suffolk Mental Health Partnership Trust (SMHPT) ruled McFarlane posed no risk to others just days before he killed.

Mary also begged police for help just hours before she was savagely murdered but McFarlane was not taken into custody.

He was jailed for a minimum of 20 years at the Old Bailey in November last year.

The court heard McFarlane launched his brutal revenge after Mary wrote on Facebook that he was ‘delusional’ to believe that they would have a relationship.

An investigation is already underway by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and yesterday NHS East of England launched a separate independent inquiry.

A spokesman said: ”The purpose of the independent investigation is to thoroughly review the care and treatment received by John McFarlane in order to establish any lessons to be learned.

”This is done to minimise the possibility of a re-occurrence of similar events, and to make recommendations for the delivery of health services in the future.

”The investigation is internal to the NHS, a report will be produced and this will be published, and the NHS will act on any recommendations made by the investigation.

”NHS East of England has commissioned an independent company to undertake an independent investigation into the care and treatment of Mr McFarlane.

”The investigation is now under way and a report, detailing its findings, will be published once the investigation is completed.”

A spokeswoman for SMHPT, said it had already conducted its own internal investigation.

She added: ”The strategic health authority takes the decision about whether to proceed to an independent investigation and we will help this process in whichever way we can.”

About one hour after the attack, which occurred on May 5 last year, McFarlane was arrested by police and taken to hospital with self-inflicted wounds.

He was initially detained under the Mental Health Act and was deemed unfit to be quizzed by police about the incident.

It later emerged he had tried to take his own life in the days leading up to the attack, but mental health bosses decided he should not be detained for the safety of himself or others.

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