An inquest into how a psychiatric patient released from a secure hospital stabbed a Jewish man to death, opened this week amid emotional scenes.
Michael Kahan, 39, a klezmer violinist from north Manchester, sustained injuries to his heart and stomach when he was stabbed by Jonathan Mills in June 2008 outside a Jewish bakery in Crumpsall. The father-of-three had gone out to buy bagels.
Mills was given an indefinite hospital order, and remains in a secure hospital.
Giving evidence at the two-week inquest, which follows two NHS inquiries, Mr Kahan’s widow Eva said: “It was the first time Michael didn’t kiss me ever, he didn’t say goodbye, just that he would be back in five minutes.”
Her husband had been due to meet his estranged son, Max, on the day of his death. “Max never got a chance to know his father,” Mrs Kahan said.
Sitting next to Jonathan Mills’ parents at the inquest, she declared: “I want to say that myself and Michael’s family have never had any animosity against the Mills family.”
A tearful Mrs Mills said: “I would like to see something positive come out of this inquest. I want it for my son, for Michael and especially for Mrs Kahan.”
The inquest, scheduled to last two weeks at Manchester Crown Court, follows two separate NHS inquiries.
Giving evidence, Jonathan Mills’ parents said NHS psychiatric health professionals had not informed them that their son was to be released from a secure psychiatric unit at the Royal Oldham Hospital, two weeks before he killed Mr Kahan.
The Mills had tried to alert social workers that their son was not taking his medication and received two visits from of just three and 10 minutes.
Mr Mills told the coroner, Sally Hatfield QC, that NHS psychiatrists had failed to detect “a bucket-full” of medication hidden in his son’s bedroom which he had not been taking.
Representing the Pennine Acute NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, John Sharples said medical records showed the Mills family appeared content with their son’s progress in the week before the stabbing.