MORE should have been done to prevent the death of a Bury woman who was stabbed to death by her mentally ill next door neighbour, an inquest has heard today.

Maylyn Couperthwaite died after being stabbed in the stomach at her home in Woodward Close, Bury on February 7, 2016.

Maylyn’s mother Audrey was also attacked and spent nine days in intensive care suffering from extensive internal injuries. She was discharged from hospital in August 2016.

Their neighbour, Oliver Faughey, who carried out the attack, was later jailed for ten years.

He was initially charged with murder and attempted murder, but the Crown Prosecution Service later accepted pleas to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and wounding with intent.

At the time, Manchester Crown Court heard that there had been a ‘raft’ of complaints from Audrey to housing officials about Faughey’s behaviour, and vice versa, as he accused her dog of barking too much and said ‘strange smells’ were coming from her bungalow.

Faughey also suspected her of hacking into his phone line and internet connection.

One one occasion, he told neighbours that Audrey, by folding in her car’s wing mirrors, had ‘de-flected cameras’ towards his house.

A prosecutor told the court how one neighbour had heard Faughey say ‘I would do time to kill those two’, referring to Audrey, and Maylyn.

At about 6pm on the day of the stabbing, Maylyn, who was 52 at the time, had opened the door of her bungalow as she was preparing to take Audrey home, round the corner, when she saw Faughey heading towards the house, and shouted ‘mum, he’s coming’.

The court heard horrific details of the frenzied assault as Faughey, armed with a knife, entered the house and stabbed each of the women four times.

Today, a jury at Rochdale Coroner’s Court returned a verdict of ‘unlawful killing’ and determined that mental health services had failed to properly follow up on four referrals about Faughey’s behaviour.

They said that ‘decisive action’ should have been taken ‘to instigate mental health assessments to highlight any risk of harm to himself and others’.

They concluded that agencies, including Greater Manchester Police and Six Town Housing, failed to properly share information between themselves that could have prevented Ms Couperthwaite’s death.

A charity providing support to Faughey had previously told the inquest that he was ‘considered a risk’, and that concerns were raised with mental health services, who refused to take up the referral.

Faughey was later diagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the attack.

The jury’s final statement read: “The deceased was unlawfully killed by her next door neighbour on February 7 2016 at her usual address. The neighbour was subsequently diagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the offence.

“Mental health services failed to adequately follow up on formal referrals and should have taken decisive action to instigate mental health assessments to highlight any risk of harm to himself and others. The sharing of information between multi-agencies involved was inadequate.

“We have reached the following conclusions: Three psychiatrists have given their professional opinions that they felt at the time of the incident the neighbour was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

“Four separate referrals sent to mental health services were not acted upon sufficiently and record keeping did not link these referrals.

“A formal mental health assessment should have been undertaken as a result of the first referral made in October 2010.

“Police have failed to share all relevant information and records between themselves and multi-agencies in regard to the neighbour’s violent offences.

“Detailed housing record were not satisfactorily shared with the relevant agencies, for instance mental health services not being asked to attend a multi-agency meeting in January 2012.

“Previous tenancy records were not available to housing which would have highlighted previous long standing concerns that could have been shared across multi-agencies.”

Following the inquest, Audrey Couperthwaite said in a statement: “I am pleased with the findings of the jury and I hope that the changes that have been promised by all the agencies that were involved will be implemented.

“We miss Maylyn terribly and I hope that no other family has to ever suffer the avoidable tragic loss that we have.”

Kelly Darlington, solicitor for the family, said: “This is an extremely tragic case that could have been avoided.

“The inquest has highlighted a number of failings including the failure of agencies to pass on important information about the offender.

“Evidence was heard that a number of lessons have been learned from all agencies since Maylyn’s death and it is crucial that changes are implemented to prevent future deaths occurring.”

In response to the inquest's findings, a spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: “We accept the findings of the inquest into the tragic death of Maylyn Couperthwaite.

“Since Maylyn’s death we have reviewed our practices and have changed the processes we use to communicate with all of our partners.

“Whilst nothing we can do can change what happened to Maylyn or change the heartbreak that her family have been through, I hope the fact that we are doing all that we can to ensure nothing like this ever happens again can go some way to help her family as they continue to get on with their lives.”

A spokesperson for Six Town Housing added: "This has been a tragic incident and our deepest sympathies remain with Maylyn's family and friends for their loss.

"We are carefully considering the findings of the inquest and will ensure that we take any learning to improve the way we work with partner organisations when dealing with matters relating to mental health in the community."