Woman who stabbed care worker to death to be kept in Welsh hospital for treatment

Kellyanne McNaughton stabbed Michele Rutherford at supported accommodation in Stirling in 2023.

Kellyanne McNaughton who stabbed care worker to death to be kept in Welsh hospital for treatment Police Scotland

A woman who stabbed her care worker to death is to be kept in a hospital in Wales for treatment.

Kellyanne McNaughton killed Michele Rutherford, 54, on March 7 2023 after failed attempts to get the 33-year-old psychiatric help.

McNaughton admitted in January to the culpable homicide of the much-loved mum following the attack at the supported accommodation in Craighall Court in Stirling run by The Richmond Fellowship charity.

She had originally faced a murder accusation, but prosecutors accepted her guilty plea to the reduced charge of the grounds of diminished responsibility.

There had been issues since that hearing where McNaughton would be kept long-term.

She appeared from custody in January having been remanded in HMP Stirling.

But, the plan was for McNaughton to receive treatment for her conditions.

However, the only Scots ‘high risk” facility is the State Hospital at Carstairs, which caters for men.

There had been failed discussions about transferring her to two clinics as well as Rampton Secure Hospital in England.

There was talk of her initially been put in a “low secure unit” – which prosecutors said the family of Michele had “expressed concerns” about.

McNaughton was again brought from HMP Stirling for the latest hearing at the High Court in Glasgow on Monday.

It was then confirmed that she will be moved within seven days to the Priory Hospital Llanarth Court in Monmouthshire in Wales for treatment.

This was described as “medium” secure facility.

Lord Armstrong went on to make McNaughton the subject of both compulsion and restriction orders for her to remain at Llanarth Court without limit of time.

Members of Michele’s grieving family were once again at court.

As McNaughton was lead handcuffed back to the cells, one shouted: “Rot in hell”.

The court earlier heard how Michele was a senior support worker at the unit.

In 2023, there was an incident in McNaughton’s personal life which appeared to be a “trigger” in affecting her behaviour.

In the lead-up to the killing, she made a number of bizarre claims including how she could hear children screaming.

Prosecutor Graeme Jessop KC said:  “Staff attempted to phone a psychiatrist that McNaughton had previously been under the care of.

“But, they were advised that she had been discharged and a referral would have to be made through her GP.”

Police were also alerted about McNaughton’s behaviour.

Officers checked on her and she later appeared “calm”. She was left in the care of three workers with police filing an “adult concern” report to social workers.

In the early hours of March 7, a worker then contacted NHS 24 about McNaughton.

She was said to be hearing voices and being aggressive.

But, after she again calmed down, a decision was made not to send a doctor out.

McNaughton then asked later morning to speak to senior staff while continuing to have “delusional beliefs”.

She went to a flat used as a “hub” by workers. One of Michele’s colleagues was on the phone at the time trying to arrange an assessment for erratic McNaughton.

McNaughton then confronted Michele making accusations about staff.

Mr Jessop said: “She lunged at Michele Rutherford stabbing her in the chest several times.

“Initially, Michele and others believed she had only punched her.

“It was only later in the struggle that they became aware McNaughton had a knife.”

Michele’s colleague and another carer were also struck before the former persuaded McNaughton to release the knife.

The second carer rushed to get a towel to stem the blood as mercy crews were alerted.

Mr Jessop said: “She remembered Michele asking her to tell her children that she loved them.

“She went on to talk about her family – in particular her daughters and their cat.”

McNaughton was heard making a number of remarks about what occurred.

She confessed to police: “Yeah, I stabbed the three of them. They are carers where I live. I stabbed them in the chest and arms.

“I am sorry. I was demonic. I had the wee knife in my pocket.”

Michele, of Stirling, passed away having been stabbed twice in the heart.

She is survived by her husband, two daughters and her brother.

Dr Nicola Swinson – consultant forensic psychiatrist at NHS Forth Valley – gave evidence at the hearing on Monday.

She has had regular dealings with McNaughton since she was first arrested.

Dr Swinson said McNaughton had low IQ and been diagnosed with emotionally unstable personality disorder.

She had spoke of having “trances” which made her “unaware of what was happening” and “only becoming aware at the end of it”.

Dr Swinson described McNaughton as now being “more stable”.

However, she told the hearing: “There would be a risk to the public and to herself if at liberty.”

The psychiatrist further added it had been “complicated and challenging” finding a facility to house McNaughton long term.

The witness stated if the risk “reduced” McNaughton may eventually be moved to a “low security” unit in Scotland, but that is likely to be “several years away”.

McNaughton’s KC Ian Duguid later told the court: “This is a tragedy for so many people”.

He said Michele had been among those who had tried to get help for McNaughton before the killing.

In making the two hospital orders, Lord Armstrong said he had read a number of moving statements from relatives of Michele.

He said the lasting effect of her death may be “incalculable” for them.

The judge: “I have no doubt that her relatives have been deeply affected  by this. 

“I suspect that no disposal will be regarded as sufficient in their eyes.”

Regarding any concerns the family may have had about where McNaughton is kept, the judge said he was “satisfied all appropriate measures” had been put in place.

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