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Man who shot mother and then himself in Crays Hill was 'psychotic', inquest hears

By Billericay Gazette  |  Posted: April 03, 2013

By Rachael Hook

  • Double Deaths Pitsea View Road, Crays Hill

  • 'psychotic': The scene in Pitsea View Road, Crays Hill, where Mark Tyler, inset left, gunned down mother Maureen, right

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A MAN who shot his mother dead before turning the gun on himself was psychotic, an inquest has heard.

Mark Tyler, 37, gunned down his 79-year-old mother Maureen at her home in Pitsea View Road, Crays Hill, days before killing himself in September last year.

Mr Tyler had a history of mental illness and was "dangerous", the Chelmsford inquest heard on March 27.

His family believes that had his health problems been "taken seriously by certain agencies", the deaths could have been avoided.

Jessie Haggar, Mr Tyler's sister, told the hearing: "With Mark's mental state, it was a lot more serious than depression.

"He was told he was psychotic and dangerous and was allowed to stay with my mum – she thought she could cope."

Coroner Mrs Beasley-Murray said that Mr Tyler had a history of drug abuse but there was no evidence to show that he was using when he shot his mother.

She added that he had a mental health assessment last July but no diagnosis was made.

Mrs Beasley-Murray recorded a verdict of unlawful killing of Maureen Tyler and a verdict of suicide for Mark Tyler.

Mrs Tyler's body was found in the living room of her home by a paramedic at 8.11pm on September 3.

Police arrived shortly after at 8.16pm and discovered the body of Mr Tyler in an en-suite bathroom of the bungalow.

The inquest heard that both the deceased had died from single gunshot wounds, Mrs Tyler on August 28 and Mr Tyler on September 1.

Neighbours raised concerns over Mrs Tyler's whereabouts after she failed to attend the Sunday service at St Mary the Virgin Church in Little Burstead.

After the inquest, Mrs Haggar handed the Gazette a statement, which read: "Our family have been devastated by this tragedy.

"The loss of Maureen and Mark has left a huge hole in all our lives, made worse by the fact this could have been avoided if certain agencies had heeded warnings and taken concerns about Mark's deteriorating mental health seriously.

"This is the sad conclusion of a mother trying to do her best for her mentally ill son who was repeatedly ignored and let down by the system he consistently asked for help from.

"We hope that lessons can be learned from this and no other family has to suffer the way we are."

Representatives of the South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust were present at the hearing but were not called to give evidence.

A spokesman said: "The trust is unable to comment on individuals or their circumstances.

"However, we understand that the criminal investigation has concluded but is subject to an ongoing independent investigation and an internal serious incident review.

"Both of these investigations are still live to establish the facts, and we are unable comment further until these are concluded."

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