Canterbury man with paranoid schizophrenia acquitted of attempting to murder his daughter
A man suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, has been acquitted of the attempted murder of his own daughter at Canterbury Crown Court today. He has been left suffering from a significant disability after being shot with live rounds, by a police officer to stop him stabbing his 16-year-old daughter.
The jury agreed with Marc Traylor’s defence solicitor, Sean Caulfield from London law firm Hodge Jones & Allen, and returned a special verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.
The court heard that on the night of 8th February 2015, Marc Traylor, 42, took his daughter Kitanna hostage in an upstairs bedroom in the family home in Hersden near Canterbury. He was experiencing a schizophrenic episode and he had two knives with him.
Marc’s father, Peter, who lived nearby, was called to come over and try to calm his son down. Police then arrived at the scene and negotiated for nearly two hours with Marc to release his daughter and, as the situation grew more serious, an armed response unit was called.
After a long stand-off there was an incident that led to police erroneously hitting Marc’s father with a Taser. Still in the middle of his schizophrenic episode, Marc started to attack his daughter resulting in multiple stab wounds to her abdomen, hands, arms and legs. In response, an armed policeman fired three shots from a live firearm directly at Marc, hitting him with each shot.
Marc sustained injuries from the gun shot to his neck, jaw and abdomen. He also suffered brain damage as a result. He had a metal plate inserted to his jaw, had a tracheostomy and underwent an operation to repair damage to his liver. Marc is currently unable to live independently.
In addition to numerous lacerations, Kitanna suffered a cut to her liver, which resulted in an operation to remove a small section of her bowel. She was in hospital for three weeks after the attack. Her injuries are not just physical and she will no doubt live with the memory of what has happened for the rest of her life.
Throughout the six-day trial at Canterbury Crown Court, Marc remained in hospital and heard and saw the proceedings by internet link.
Marc started to suffer from paranoid delusions in 2012 and had been under a Community Treatment Order between June 2013 and June 2014. He stopped taking medication for his condition when the order came to an end, but only told his wife a short time before the incident. He has previously been detained twice under the Mental Health Act 1983.
Sean Caulfield said: “This has been a particularly distressing case for all concerned and, despite the severity of the charge, Mr Traylor’s family believe that justice has been served.
“It is essential that families whose loved ones are affected by paranoid schizophrenia are supported and have access to the help needed to keep their loved ones well. Further, regular checks are needed on that individual’s mental health to ensure medication is being taken to avoid manic episodes, where possible.
“Sadly, the Traylor family has suffered the life-changing consequences of a lapse in this care and Mr Traylor may now have to live in a supported unit for the rest of his life due to events of that night.”
“The way the Traylor family have responded to such a dreadful event in their lives speaks volumes for their loyalty, courage and the strength of the family bond. Mr. Traylor retains the support of all of his family. They understand he cannot be held responsible for his actions while suffering from such an illness.”
Notes for Editors
Hodge Jones and Allen
Hodge Jones and Allen is one of the UK’s most progressive law firms, renowned for doing things differently and fighting injustice.
- For almost 40 years’ the firm has been at the centre of many of the UK’s landmark legal cases that have changed the lives and rights of many people.
- The firm’s team of specialists have been operating across: Personal Injury, Medical Negligence, Industrial Disease, Civil Liberties, Criminal Defence, Court of Protection, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Family Law, Military Claims, Serious Fraud, Social Housing, Wills & Probate and Property Disputes.
- Co-founder Patrick Allen is still at the helm of the firm he co-founded in 1977.
- In 2016 the firm launched Hearing their voices – a campaign to raise awareness and build conversations around the issues and the injustices we might all face.