Plumber Lee Gadd was found by police officers with multiple back and neck wounds in his home, in Broad Lane, Bloxwich, Walsall, on May 24 last year after concerned relatives and his neighbours were unable to contact him.
He was killed by his son Bradley Pye, 25, who will be subject to an indefinite hospital order to protect the public after being sentenced on Friday at Wolverhampton Crown Court.
Pye who was trained in plumbing by his father, pleaded guilty to his manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility at a previous hearing.
Pye, who had been sleeping rough at the time of the attack, after previously living on and off with his father, stated in interview that he attacked his father after he had raised concerns over his mental health.
A blood-stained knife was found under a coffee table and a post-mortem examination revealed Mr Gadd died as a result of a multiple stab wounds.
Sentencing him Judge Chambers QC said following the incident the defendant was diagnosed as suffering from the significant mental condition paranoid schizophrenia.
The judge said it was an “ironically tragic” case that the person who had tried to help the defendant ended up dying at his hands after hearing that Pye had behaved violently towards his father on several occasions.
Pye was initially charged with murder which he denied, and his manslaughter guilty plea was accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Judge Chambers said: “You are now 25-years-old I have to sentence you following your plea to the alternative charge of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
“This case in essence arises from your unlawful killing of your father Lee Gadd who was aged 51-years-old. In the early hours of May 24 whilst at the family house that you were sharing with your father, in Broad Lane, Bloxwich, you repeatedly stabbed and killed him causing his death. The post mortem reveals a total of 15 sharp wound injuries, six other stab wounds and 10 slash wounds.
“He had internal injuries, his jugular vein was severed and he succumbed to fatal injuries.”
“In my view this was an appalling act carried out not least by a son on a father.
“Whilst accepted by both psychiatrists in this case that at the time you were suffering from paranoia schizophrenia, this remains a serious and tragic act. The tragic irony is that your father for many years notwithstanding your hatred towards him was sympathetic and supportive to you.
“You had developed an irrational hatred of your father culminating in a number of assaults and a previous conviction for assault for which you appeared before the courts on September 21, 2019.
The judge sentenced Pye, who appeared on video link, to a restriction order under the Mental Health Act meaning he will remain in a specialist hospital indefinitely.
“It is the opinion of both doctors that the requirements of the criteria of the section 41 restriction are met. Both conclude that it is in the interest of the public that you are detained in hospital so that you can receive appropriate treatment such is the risk. It is envisaged that it is unlikely to come a time for your release or in any event not for a very long time indeed.”
Addressing members of the family who were in court the judge added: “My condolences for your tragic and sad loss.”
In a victim impact statement read out in court, Mr Gadd’s family said: “We are all struggling as a family, in so many ways since our Lee has been taken away from us in such a horrific way.
“For a parent to lose their child, regardless of the age, is their worst nightmare.
“If we could put it all on paper how it has impacted our lives, it would take a whole day to read. Knowing how we lost Lee by his own son’s hands, is mind-blowing, heart-wrenching and stomach-churning. It’s left a hole in the pit of our stomachs that nothing can fill.”
Mr Gadd, who served with the Queen’s Royal Lancers before settling down in the Walsall area, was found lying in a pool of blood on the ground floor by police officers carrying out a welfare check on him after Pye was earlier seen by a neighbour driving his van in an erratic manner.
Prosecuting barrister Kevin Hegarty QC said a bloodied knife was found in the kitchen by the officers who had used a ladder to get into the house before find Mr Gadd’s body on the floor downstairs and that .
Pye had covered him up with towels and left the property.
After he was arrested hours later in the nearby Promenade Gardens, in Bloxwich High Street, Pye described to officers stabbing and kicking the victim, telling them that he hated his father and that he meant to kill him.
Tyrone Smith QC, defending barrister, said Pye was never diagnosed with schizophrenia prior to the stabbing and was being treated for depression rather than the more “significant” condition despite being known to mental health professionals.