THE grandson of Leeds anti-gun campaigner Pat Regan stabbed her to death while suffering from paranoia and mental health issues after smoking cannabis since the age of 11, his mother has told an inquest.
Rakeim Regan, who was 21 at the time, stabbed 53-year-old Mrs Regan multiple times in the head and neck after believing she was conspiring with the police to come and get him, the inquest heard.
Frances Regan, Rakeim’s mother and Mrs Regan’s daughter, told the hearing at Leeds Coroner’s Court that her son’s mental health had deteriorated in the days before the stabbing, in May 2008, and she believed he should have been sectioned.
Rakeim was diagnosed with severe paranoid schizophrenia following his grandmother’s death and was ordered to be detained indefinitely at a secure psychiatric hospital after admitting manslaughter.
Ms Regan told the inquest that Rakeim first got drunk at a friend’s birthday party when he was nine years old and she found a photograph of him smoking a cannabis joint when he was around 11.
She said she never saw him using cannabis but he would light joss sticks in his bedroom to disguise the smell and, when he was around 15, she found the drug in his pocket.
On one occasion he was found to be high on cannabis in class and was later excluded from the school, she said.
Ms Regan said she believed there was a link between her son’s cannabis use and his mental health issues.
Rakeim was described as a “sensitive boy, quiet and laid-back” who was spoilt by his extended family, particularly his grandmother, whom he was very close to.
He also “idolised” his uncle Danny and Ms Regan said she believed he had a “mini-breakdown” after his murder in St Helens, Merseyside, in December 2002 - an event which led Mrs Regan to become an active member of the campaign group Mothers Against Guns.
The inquest heard that Rakeim was in trouble with the police on a number of occasions and became paranoid about them, believing he was a target.
Ms Regan said: “He felt the police were picking on him. I felt he was harassed by the police.”
He became depressed and suffered low self-esteem, hiding all the mirrors in the house and contacting a plastic surgeon. He also had problems sleeping and would often not sleep for days on end. the inquest heard.
Ms Regan said she and other members of the family tried to help Rakeim get treatment for his mental health issues but he would not admit he had a problem and refused to seek help.
The inquest heard that, on the day before her death, Mrs Regan managed to get Rakeim to attend hospital with her, where he was given a sleeping tablet and sent home with her.
Mrs Regan’s body was found at her home in Marlborough Grange, Leeds, on June 1, 2008.
Ms Regan said her son was not a violent person and she thought he was going to kill himself.
She said he told her after Mrs Regan’s death that he had been in a state of paranoia at the time.
“He said he heard my mum talking on the phone and he felt she was colluding with the police,” she told the inquest.
“He felt she was talking to the police and the police were coming to get him.”
The inquest at Leeds Coroners’ Court, which is due to last for two weeks, continues.