Family tragedies


Sussex deaths: the families” stories

Media captionJoe Goswell on the murder of his mother by his father

Joe Goswell”s mother was killed by his father Roger on 23 December 2007.

Roger Goswell – who killed himself in a car crash hours later – had mental health problems and had repeatedly spoken of killing his wife.

“He wanted electric shock treatment, he was screaming out for help,” says Joe. “The NHS asked if he was capable of carrying out his threat and I said yes.

“It”s very hard to think your father is capable of killing the woman he supposedly loved.

“But it was very sad to say, that he was.”

A report has concluded that based on Roger Goswell”s medical history, it was predicable that he”d turn violent.

“If it was predictable, it was preventable,” says Joe.

“There is no question they could have saved my mother”s life and they haven”t.

“It”s mind-blowing that they could have predicted my father was going to murder my mother.

“It makes me exceptionally angry because my mother could have been alive.”

“People are still dying”

The inquest into Susan Goswell”s death found 14 failings that contributed to her death, according to the family.

The family hoped the NHS would take those lessons on board, so others wouldn”t suffer.

The report – showing the Sussex Partnership failed to improve care – infuriates Joe.

“My two sisters and I genuinely thought my mother”s death would not have been in vain,” he says.

“And here we are, after all this time, and people are still dying.

“They never learned anything from her death, they just swept it under the carpet and moved onto the next one. It”s so sad.”

Image caption
Oliver Parsons (left) stabbed Joe Lewis (right) on Christmas Day

The failure to listen was also evident in the death of Joe Lewis in 2014.

He was killed by Oliver Parsons, another psychiatric patient under the care of Sussex Partnership.

At the trial, Joe”s sister Naomi Lewis found out that Parsons, in the months leading up to the killing, had called police to ask to be arrested, so frightened was he of his own behaviour.

“He was clearly crying out for help,” says Naomi.

He didn”t get the care he needed and on Christmas Day 2014, he stabbed 24-year-old Joe to death.

Media captionOliver Parsons told police who arrested him he was a psychopath

Seven years after the Goswell family was failed, the Parsons and Lewis families were facing the same problems.

“It”s quite shocking isn”t it,” says Naomi.

“When you are told to rectify something, you usually go ahead and rectify it but they haven”t.

“They keep making the same mistakes. If the mistakes had been corrected, people wouldn”t have died needlessly.”

As for the apology from Sussex Partnership, Naomi is sceptical.

“It doesn”t bring back my brother or the other people who”ve died. They”ve promised to improve before and they haven”t.”