Man given hospital order for manslaughter

A man who killed his mother and attacked his sister after being granted permission to leave a mental health facility in Lewisham has been sentenced at the Old Bailey.

Gilbert Corette, aged 44,  of Manor Avenue, SE4 admitted to the manslaughter of his mother, 81-year-old Florise Corette, by virtue of diminished responsibility and the grievous bodily harm of a 52-year-old woman, his sister, and pleaded guilty to the manslaughter and grievous bodily harm at the same court on Friday, 11 March.

He was sentenced to a hospital order under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act and a restriction order under Section 41 with an indefinite time limit at the Old Bailey on Thursday, 7 April

The court had previously heard that Gilbert Corette was registered disabled and in recent years had difficulty managing his mental health.

Though his immediate family had supported him over the years it came to a point where they could no longer cope.

On 19 March 2015 Gilbert was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and placed in Lewisham Hospital, Ladywell Unit which is a unit for patients with mental health disorders. On 8 July 2015 Gilbert left the hospital with permission and made his way to his mother’s address in Lochaber Road, SE13.

Later that day at 10:23hrs the London Ambulance Service (LAS) received a call from Corette’s mother, Florise Corette, at her home address stating that her daughter had been hit on the head with a bottle.

At the request of the LAS police attended and found Florise’s daughter with a head injury. Gilbert Corette had remained at the house and when spoken to by officers stated that he’d got angry.

Corette was arrested. He went on to explain that he had told his mother and sister that he did not want to stay at the mental health facility but they had insisted he return. When they threatened to call the police he got angry. Officers then searched the address forcing entry to a second ground floor bedroom where they found his mother Florise lying on the floor behind the door. She too had suffered head trauma and was in cardiac arrest.

London’s Air Ambulance attended and she was taken, along with her daughter, to a south London hospital. Florise died later that day at midday.

A post-mortem examination was held at Greenwich Mortuary on the 10 July 2015 and determined the cause of death as head injuries.

On 09 July 2015 Gilbert Corette was charged with one count of murder and one count of grievous bodily harm.

At court in March he entered a guilty plea to the charge of manslaughter which was accepted.

Detective Inspector Simon Deefholts, the investigating officer for the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said previously:  “This is a tragic case. Put simply Gilbert Corette lost control and ultimately killed his mother and leaving his sister with very serious injuries. Subsequent psychiatric reports have determined that at the time he was suffering an abnormality of mind that impaired his ability to form rational judgments and exercise self-control. Understandably the incident has had an enormous emotional impact on the household – as a family they are supportive of Gilbert but are left grieving for the loss of their mother.”

The Corette family said: “I would like to thank the police, the Crown Prosecution Service and victim support along with the other agencies for all that they have done to bring this matter to its conclusion. This has been a devastating incident for our family.

“There are no words that can sum up for us the emotional impact of what happened last year. It is still hard to make any sense of our mother’s death. At the heart of all of this was a loving caring mother and son.

“Our mother should have never died this way. Over the past months we watched and listened in disbelief as we became more aware of the details behind this tragedy.

“We conclude that due to Gilbert’s mental health problems, he should never have been granted unsupervised leave that day from the NHS Psychiatric Unit where he was residing.
Our mother would not have died and would still be with us today.

“Now the trial has ended I hope we can begin to move forward in our grieving. We also hope that Gilbert receives the help and support he needs to cope with what has happened.”

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