Ipswich: Desperate mum’s plea: “My five-year-old son has already battered two cats to death... he needs help before someone is killed”

IPSWICH: A mother whose son is believed to be suffering from a form of schizophrenia today made a desperate appeal for him to receive immediate medical treatment before his condition deteriorates further.

Now at her wit’s end, she felt compelled to speak out after claiming he killed two kittens this week by throwing them against a wall.

It comes after a catalogue of disturbing incidents in which she says he:

n Threatened to kill her;

n Attempted to push his two-year-old cousin out of a second-floor window;

n Broke a dog’s leg by stamping on it;

n Cut a cat’s ear off;

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n Started fires in the kitchen;

n Hit his mother on the head with a stiletto heel while she slept;

n Tried to poison rabbits by feeding them IBS tablets.

n And finally killed two kittens on Monday by throwing them against a wall.

The youngster, who we have called Bradley to protect his identity, was finally referred in May for specialist assessment with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team (CAMHS), but was not due for an appointment until October.

But his mother fears his condition, which she believes may be a form of schizophrenia, could deteriorate further if he is not given immediate treatment.

She said: “Every time Bradley has an episode, I call CAMHS, but nothing is being done.

“I can’t understand why it has been allowed to get this far – he killed two cats on Monday. He needs to be seen before somebody gets killed.

“If he was an adult, they would have seen him straight away. But there isn’t a crisis team for children.

“What he needs is a St Clements (mental health hospital) for children so he can have intense therapy.”

The 25-year-old said the problems started two years ago when she and Bradley moved to Ipswich after she divorced her husband.

She said: “Bradley was fine when he was a baby, but when he turned three, things got really bad.

“He set the kitchen on fire twice by putting paper on the gas stove and lighting it in the middle of the night.”

She claimed social services initially inferred the cause was a bad upbringing. She was sent on parenting courses, but she said this did not get to the root of the issue.

“They thought a child couldn’t possibly behave like this and come from a good home. I can see how that kind of assumption can be made, but it really upset me. I really don’t know what is causing this behaviour.”

Last year, Bradley’s mother said he was sent to NHS Suffolk’s Children’s Community Services, which referred him to CAMHS after ruling out Asperger syndrome and ADHD.

She added: “It’s been really difficult and really hard emotionally. I was studying at college last year. If I didn’t have that to focus on, I could have gone insane.”

Paul Cathmoir, community matron for Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust’s CAMHS, said: “Home situations like the one described are, understandably, distressing and have a considerable impact on everyone involved.

“Although I cannot comment on individual cases, I’m happy to say that I have spoken with the family’s GP and we should be able to offer them an earlier appointment.”

A spokesman for social services said it would support the family if needed.

n Have you had a similar experience? Call The Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk