Murderer Carl Langdell told nurse of ‘violent fantasies’

Carl LangdellImage copyright Hertfordshire Police
Image caption Carl Langdell was given a life sentence after pleading guilty to the murder of 23-year-old Kate Locke

A man who killed a teacher and sexually assaulted her corpse told NHS staff of violent rape and murder fantasies before her death, a report has said.

Carl Langdell was jailed for 26 years in 2016 for the murder of Katie Locke at a Hertfordshire hotel on Christmas Eve in 2015.

A report into his care found details of Langdell’s long history of mental illness had not been fully shared.

But Ms Locke’s death, it concluded, “could not have been prevented”.

Langdell was serving a suspended sentence for threatening to kill a community psychiatric nurse when he strangled the 23-year-old.

Her body was found dumped in the grounds of Theobalds Park Hotel in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire.

After meeting on a dating site, Langdell, a lawyer, told Ms Locke he had his own firm but in reality he had spent the previous two years suffering severe bouts of mental illness.

He had been detained under the Mental Health Act before receiving his suspended sentence in March 2015.

Ms Locke, from Buckhurst Hill, Essex, was unaware of his history when she agreed to meet him.

Image copyright Hertfordshire Police
Image caption Katie Locke and Carl Langdell were on a first date when the “beautiful and vibrant” teacher was murdered by Langdell

Langdell disclosed his “violent fantasies” to a member of staff at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust, before he came under the care of Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust.

An independent review commissioned by NHS England found there had been “systemic missed opportunities”, including a lack of information regarding Langdell’s previous care.

However, it concluded “there was no way for staff from any agency to determine whether [Langdell] was one of the 97% of people who only make threats or one of the 3% who carry threats through”.

“We conclude therefore that the tragic death of [Ms Locke] could not have been predicted with the degree of certainty that would have made it possible to prevent,” the report said.

Image copyright Laurie Kavanagh / Geograph
Image caption Katie Locke’s body was found dumped in a bush near a skip in the grounds of Theobalds Park Hotel in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire

Dr David Levy, NHS England’s regional medical director, said: “This is a very complex case.

“He had an unusual condition, complex enough that three consultant psychiatrists came to a very different conclusion about him.

“But certainly there were shortcomings and opportunities that weren’t taken to understand the complexity of this patient’s problems.”

Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust said: “There are a number of areas where the trust can and will learn lessons from this terrible incident and minimise the possibility of this ever happening again.”

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