Published: 10:57, 20 January 2022
| Updated: 08:36, 11 February 2022
A psychotic dad who repeatedly stabbed his own daughter before being shot down by police is suing the NHS for more than £1 million.
Marc Traylor used two knives to attack and seriously injure his 16-year-old daughter, Kitanna, after taking her hostage at their home in Hersden, near Canterbury, while experiencing psychotic delusions in February 2015.
The attack - which ended when armed officers fired on him - left the teenager with life-threatening wounds, including a torn bowel and lacerations to her liver, colon and spleen.
But now her attacker has brought a case against the Kent and Medway Social Care Partnership Trust to the High Court, accusing medics of failing to properly monitor him prior to the incident.
The hearing heard that Traylor, 47, had been prescribed drugs in 2012 after being diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, with delusions that he was being poisoned and that people were trying to kill him.
Mr Justice Johnson was told how, after taking Kitanna hostage, he smiled at her in a “devilish and chilling” manner, before “flying across the room in a blur and stabbing her”.
He was later tried for attempted murder in November 2016 at Canterbury Crown Court, but found not guilty by reason of insanity.
The gunshot wounds which ended the knife attack left Traylor with brain injuries affecting his mobility and ability to eat, drink or dress independently.
His lawyers now say his breakdown and the attack would have been avoided had he stayed on slow-release “depot injections”, rather than switching to self-administered oral tablets for his medication.
“Mr Traylor contends that if properly assessed and advised, he would have remained on depot medication and he would not have relapsed and the incident would not have occurred,” explained the NHS’ QC, Edward Bishop.
“Alternatively, he alleges that if properly monitored and supervised after discharge of the community treatment order, steps would or should have been taken to assess the family and the events of February 2, 2015, would not have occurred."
Miss Traylor, now 22, is also suing the NHS for breaches of the Human Rights Act, alleging healthcare staff failed to act to ward off the “real and immediate risk to life” posed by her father.
Lawyers say their claims in the High Court are valued at more than £1 million.
But defence QC, Mr Bishop, argued that it would be morally wrong for Traylor to receive a cash payout for his own act of violence.
He noted that Traylor's loss of control was due to his own decision to stop taking his meds.
Evidence shows the knifeman “did not take a single tablet after his final depot injection on June 5, 2014, as a direct result of which he suffered the psychotic episode that led to the terrible events”.
Mr Bishop added: “Even if the defence of insanity absolved Mr Traylor of all criminal responsibility, his behaviour in deciding not to take his medication with full capacity and knowledge of the risks - and then to repeatedly lie about it - is quasi-criminal.
"It is so reprehensible that the law should deny him a remedy on the grounds of legal or public policy.”
Traylor had been sectioned and treated in hospital between December 2012 and June 2013, and a year later he told his psychiatrist that he would be switching from injections to oral medication to prevent further episodes.
He and his daughter accept he could not have been forced to take more jabs, but they say he should have been “strongly advised to stay" on the injections.
Traylor was also discharged from “secondary mental health care” in December 2014 and from community mental health care just two days before the horrific attack.
Traylor's lawyers said outside court that they accept contributory negligence on his part.
But given his troubled background, lawyers for both claimants say the NHS failed to properly monitor Mr Traylor and assess the growing risk he posed, leading to the final “shocking and terrifying incident”.
The case continues.
'I want to end it'
During the trial at Canterbury Crown Court in 2016, Kitanna revealed she had no memory of her dad being shot by police following a siege of the family home in The Avenue.
She recalled how, after going to bed, she was woken up by the switching on of her bedroom light.
She said: “I rolled over and there’s my dad with the purple big kitchen knife and the little black kitchen knife.
“I screamed and somehow ended up from being one side of my bed to being underneath.
"He doesn’t come at me with knives, but I am screaming out of fear of my dad standing at the door with knives.”
She told how Traylor’s father – who lived nearby – was called to try to talk with his son, who had barricaded himself in the bedroom.
Kitanna added: “Grandad’s talking to dad and he keeps picking up a pillow case saying: ‘Put the knives in here Marc... put the knives in here.’
"It ended up with him flying across the room in a blur and stabbing me..."
“And dad keeps smiling, and it’s not like a happy smile or a jovial smile.
"It’s like a, I can’t really explain, like a devilish, evil, chilling thing, considering the situation.”
Kitanna said that during one conversation her father told her: “I want to end it."
She told the jury how police officers then arrived, prompting her grandfather to urge her to move closer to Traylor so officers could see she was OK.
But as officers tried to taser the hostage-taker he started stabbing his daughter.
She remembered: “I don’t know what happened there but either way, it ended up with him flying across the room in a blur and stabbing me.
“Then I’m on the floor screaming 'he’s stabbing me, he’s stabbing me’."
The jury returned a special not-guilty verdict on the grounds of insanity, after hearing of Traylor's diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.