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Marc Traylor verdict: jury decides Hersden dad was insane when police shot him for stabbing daughter


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A father-of-three was insane when he stabbed his 16-year-old daughter during a psychotic episode, a jury has concluded.

Marc Traylor, 42, was shot by a police marksman after a frenzied attack on the teenager at their home in Hersden.

He was taken to hospital in a serious condition and later charged with attempted murder.

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Marc Traylor was shot by police
Marc Traylor was shot by police

But a jury at Canterbury Crown Court returned a special not guilty verdict on the grounds insanity after hearing Traylor was diagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia in 2012.

Traylor's future will be decided in a few months after health experts meet in December to decide on the best care package.

Judge Heather Norton ruled that if experts think he should be released sooner, the court has to be notified first because of the risk he may pose.

The court heard Traylor had twice been admitted to psychiatric hospitals after believing his wife was having an affair and that he was being poisoned.

Traylor suffered from delusions and was convinced people were trying to kill him, top psychiatrist Dr Ian Cumming told the court.

He also claimed his wife had been on X Factor in 2002 and had teamed up with an American girl and was sleeping around.

The house in The Avenue, Hersden was taped off. Picture: Tony Flashman.
The house in The Avenue, Hersden was taped off. Picture: Tony Flashman.

The psychiatrist said: “These were very bizarre; in fact, very mad beliefs.”

Now a jury has taken less than an hour to return its verdict – which both the prosecution and defence sought.

But they had to wait to announce it as Traylor was asleep in the hospital where he had been following proceedings by video link.

Traylor's father and other members of the family sat in the public gallery during the trial last week.

There was a large police presence in The Avenue. Picture: Tony Flashman.
There was a large police presence in The Avenue. Picture: Tony Flashman.

The court heard as a result of his injuries, Traylor had suffered “considerable cognitive damage” and was now unable to walk, eat, drink or dress independently... and had no memory of the incident.

The jury heard how Traylor had previously booked into a hotel and was discovered on the roof after claiming he could hear voices of people who were threatening to kill him.

He also grabbed a nurse around the neck and punched her. It had taken six staff to restrain him before he was moved to a more secure unit.

Dr Cumming added that Traylor was later allowed to return home after making a recovery and given anti-psychotic medicines under a Community Treatment Order.

But Traylor’s family believe that weeks before the incident in February 2015, he had stopped taking the drugs and signs the illness was returning were spotted by his family.

Forensics outside the taped-off house in Hersden
Forensics outside the taped-off house in Hersden

Defence barrister Tyrone Smith QC said the evidence had shown that hostage victim Kitanna, now 18, had been her father’s “favoured” daughter.

Traylor had told her he loved her “more than his mother” and Dr Cumming revealed the dad “was probably terrified that something was going to happen and was driven by those beliefs”.

He added: “It was clear that he had lost contact with reality. It is very clear he had no sense of what was going on, no sense of the danger he was in and no idea of what was right or wrong.”

"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" - Sean Caulfield, Traylor's lawyer

Asked if it was possible to know if Traylor – who has no memory of the incident – would have had any idea of his actions at the time, he replied: “It is just not possible to make sense because it is all very illogical... all very psychotic. He would have had no thoughts that his actions were wrong.”

After the hearing, Traylor's family lawyer 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."

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