Witness asked if she was ‘lying’

John McGrath, 81, Stapleford stabbing victim.
John McGrath, 81, Stapleford stabbing victim.

A mental health worker was asked by a coroner if she was lying under oath during an inquest into the death of a Stapleford man killed by his grandson.

All the evidence has now been given in the hearing into the death of John McGrath and a verdict will be given on Friday.

But the final witness was Ann O’Keefe, who was called back to give evidence for a second day during the inquest at Nottingham Council House.

Mr McGrath, 81, of Thorpe Close, was stabbed to death by his schizophrenic grandson William Barnard in 2009, despite Mr McGrath’s efforts to get him help. Barnard, of Wesley Place, Stapleford, admitted manslaughter by diminished responsibility and was detained indefinitely at a high-security hospital.

On Tuesday Ms O’Keefe, an approved mental health practitioner, was questioned over a document she claimed she had written about Barnard, which was never found.

Assistant coroner for Nottinghamshire, Heidi Connor, asked Ms O’Keefe if her statement was a true reflection of what happened on July 24 — the day of the killing.

An email had been sent to Ms O’Keefe in the afternoon from a colleague who had visited Barnard’s flat that morning and seen a note on his front door declaring ‘the devil lives inside’ and what appeared to be dry blood on the handle.

Ms O’Keefe then emailed a colleague to say that Barnard had not been seen for months and there was ‘no rush’.

When asked by the coroner about her account of what happened she struggled to recall events.

She claimed she asked a secretary, who she could not name, to type a report up to send to various bodies, including Nottinghamshire Health Care NHS Trust. The report was never found.

Ms Connor said: “Why is your account of the report different than last week?”

She replied: “I think I have been trying to reflect the difference between what I think happened and what I remember happened.”

Ms Connor asked: “Are you lying on oath?”

Ms O’Keefe denied lying.

The inquest heard that she had not considered Barnard a ‘blue light situation’ under the Mental Health Act.