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Man accused of 'road rage' murder not giving evidence at trial

Published 05/05/2016

The widow of Donald Lock left the courtroom as a video of a police interview was played in which Matthew Daley spoke of how he stabbed Mr Lock
The widow of Donald Lock left the courtroom as a video of a police interview was played in which Matthew Daley spoke of how he stabbed Mr Lock

A man accused of the "road rage" murder of a retired solicitor will not be giving evidence at his trial, a jury has been told.

Matthew Daley, 35, will not give his account in front of jurors at Lewes Crown Court of how 79-year-old Donald Lock was killed.

Mr Lock was knifed 39 times after crashing at about 16mph into the back of Daley's Ford Fusion car on the A24 at Findon, near Worthing, West Sussex, last July 16.

The minor crash happened after great-grandfather Mr Lock, who was returning from a cycling meeting, was forced to brake suddenly after Daley made an emergency stop.

Brighton and Hove Albion season ticket holder Mr Lock, who had recently been given the all-clear from prostate cancer, died at the scene as Daley sped off.

Daley's barrister David Howker QC told the court: "We will not be calling Mr Daley to give evidence but there is other evidence to call."

Earlier, Mr Lock's widow Maureen Lock left the courtroom as a videoed police interview of Daley telling officers how he stabbed him was played to jurors.

Daley described feeling "threatened and afraid" as Mr Lock drove close behind him before the crash. He said he saw Mr Lock in his rear view mirror looking "very angry".

He told officers: "I just saw someone very close and very angry and I wanted that scenario to stop because it was intrusive.

"It was aggressive. I know some people drive close sometimes but this person was very, very close and I didn't know why."

He added: "I thought he would see my red lights and think maybe he shouldn't be driving so close to me, because that's not how people are supposed to drive."

As Daley gesticulated to police in the videotaped interview how he knifed Mr Lock, his widow left court.

Expressing sorrow for his death, Daley added: "I'm not happy that the man has died. I'm not happy that in the final minutes of his life he was in that much pain, and I don't want to be reminded of it.

"I feel very sorry about what I have done and I don't want to see anything like that happen in my lifetime again."

Daley was asked by an officer why he did not stop after inflicting the first wound that caused Mr Lock to fall.

"I don't know," Daley replied. "It's as if his anger has been put on to me and I'm trying to get rid of it."

Daley was asked whether it was appropriate to react in the way he did following a minor road crash.

Daley said: "No, I don't think so but you have to remember that I was scared and all that had built up on to me."

Jurors have heard that Daley had been suffering from mental health problems for 10 years, and his family had "pleaded" with mental health experts to section him.

Last week the chief executive of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust wrote an apology to Daley's family, saying his care "should have been better", the court has heard.

The day after the killing, Daley told consultant forensic psychiatrist Jake Harvey that he felt he had been getting less help with his mental health and was being seen by "too many trainee nurses".

He also explained that he had not been taking an anti-psychotic drug he had previously been prescribed, adding he felt medication was "a bad idea".

Daley also described hearing "so many juvenile voices running through my head" which he said were "angry" and "overwhelming", jurors heard.

In a statement, Mr Harvey said that although he believed Daley suffered from a mental disorder, he was not so acutely mentally unwell that he needed urgent transfer for psychiatric treatment, and he was fit to be charged.

He added: "My immediate assessment was that the risk to himself and others at the time was low."

Daley, formerly of St Elmo Road, Worthing, denies murder.

Consultant clinical psychologist Dr Michael Lawson assessed Daley after he was admitted to Hellingly medium-secure unit in East Sussex following his admission there in November 2015.

He concluded that his primary diagnosis of Daley was paranoid schizophrenia and he also had exaggerated autistic traits.

Dr Lawson said: "I think when you take the whole clinical assessment picture, my conclusion was that at the time of the alleged offence, Mr Daley was in all likelihood beginning to break down and experiencing the acute symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia, although I don't think he was at the point of being incapacitated by that illness."

The case continues.

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