NHS nurse who tried to murder boy, 11, is sent to psychiatric hospital

NHS nurse who had mental breakdown after her husband died of Covid and tried to murder 11-year-old boy she believed was ‘the devil’ is sent to psychiatric hospital

  • Emma Thompson, 47, strangled and stabbed child eight times with kitchen knife 
  • She tried to force phial of prescription drug down his throat during the attack  
  • But all three assaults were stopped by another boy, 14, in the same house 
  • She was found not guilty by reason of insanity of attempted murder and assault causing actual bodily harm by a jury at Exeter Crown Court last month  

An NHS nurse who had a mental breakdown and tried to murder an 11-year-old boy she believed was ‘the devil’ has been sent to a psychiatric hospital. 

Former Torbay Hospital worker Emma Thompson, 47, strangled and stabbed the child eight times with a kitchen knife just nine days after her husband Darren died from Covid in December last year. 

She also tried to force a phial of a prescription drug down his throat but all three assaults were stopped by a brave 14-year-old boy who was in the same house in Torquay, Devon, at the time.

The older boy suffered a cut to his hand as he wrestled the knife off Thompson and helped the victim escape the house and take refuge with a neighbour.

Former Torbay Hospital worker Emma Thompson, 47, strangled and stabbed the child eight times with a kitchen knife just nine days after her husband Darren died from Covid in December last year

Thompson said she was going to send the 11-year-old ‘to paradise’ during the attack in which she also called him ‘evil’ and ‘the devil’.

She admitted the stabbing to police and later told psychiatrists she thought the boy was the devil and posed a threat to the future of the world.

They concluded she was suffering from an ‘acute, transient psychotic disorder’ at the time.

Thompson was found not guilty by reason of insanity of attempted murder and assault causing actual bodily harm by a jury at Exeter Crown Court last month.

She also tried to force a phial of a prescription drug down his throat but all three assaults were stopped by a brave 14-year-old boy who was in the same house in Torquay, Devon, at the time. Pictured: Torbay Hospital 

Judge Peter Johnson imposed a hospital order with a restriction on her release which will enable closer monitoring when she is released into the community.

The judge told her the order is not a punishment and is for her own benefit and the protection of the public.

He told her: ‘On any view this is a saddening and tragic case. These actions occurred when you were experiencing an acute psychiatric episode.

‘The Covid pandemic increased your levels of stress and anxiety and Darren’s death proved the tipping point which pushed your mental health over the edge.

‘Your behaviour became more bizarre over the next couple of weeks. The psychiatrists agreed unanimously that the defence of insanity was open to you.’

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