Mentally Ill Woman Tried To Slit Throat Of Friend At Warrington Care Home

An elderly woman who tried to slit the throat of a woman friend has been sent to a secure hospital indefinitely under the Mental Health Ac

68-year-old Marie Seyferth, a schizophrenic, who has previously tried to kill her own mother, went to visit her friend Elizabeth McGowan at the St Mary’s Centre, Warrington - a mental health facility - on May 18, 2016.

After the attack Seyferth, who lived in Blackpool until becoming homeless shortly before the incident, said that she used to live with the victim in St Helens and claimed she had been used as a slave by her for 25 years.

Liverpool Crown Court heard today (Fri) that she went to St Mary’s Centre with the intention of slitting the throat of Miss McGowan and took with her a knife, which had a five inch blade which she had bought in BHS in Blackpool prior to going there.

Miss McGowan, now aged 70, suffered a five inch laceration to the right side of her neck requiring nine stitches and a laceration to her back with needed seven staples. She also had defence wounds to her hands, with the top pad of one finger left hanging off.

Seyferth remained at the scene and told police that she had wanted to kill the victim. 

The court heard that she had been under a mental health team in Blackpool but after a few months at her request her medication was withdrawn.

Seyforth, who was accompanied by two mental health nurses, admitted attempted murder and possessing an offensive weapon.

Judge Neil Flewitt, QC, said that the attack must have been “particularly painful and distressing” for the victim in will have had a profound affect on her.

“Both at the scene and later Mrs Seyferth made it clear that she had wanted and need tried to kill Miss McGowan.”

He pointed out that she has a long standing mental health difficulties and in 1973 and 1976 she had been made the subject of hospital orders, one for trying to kill her mum. 

The judge said that the team supervising her in Blackpool had not been a specialist forensic team and had not had the degree of of expertise needed to deal with the difficulties she posed.

Psychiatrist Lucy Bacon had told the judge that the defendant is responding to treatment in hospital and it was envisaged she would eventually, after some years, be allowed back into the community under the care of a specialised team but only with the approval of the Ministry  of Justice.

She would be immediately recalled if she stopped taking her medication again, she said. “She does not accept she has an illness because of her illness,” she added.

Judge Flewitt said that white-haired Seyferth would not have committed the offence but for her mental illness which meant she had delusions beliefs. 

Seyferth, who was allowed to leave the dock during the sentencing after saying, “i want to go and lie down”, has been taken back to Guild Park Hospital, Preston.

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