Ex-partner ‘on autopilot’ while stabbing mother and autistic son, court told

·2-min read

A violent ex-partner was “on autopilot” when he stabbed a mother and her young autistic son to death in front of a distressed baby, a court was told.

Daniel Boulton is alleged to have travelled 28 miles on foot to knife his former girlfriend Bethany Vincent and her nine-year-old son Darren Henson “numerous times” at around 8pm on May 31 2021.

His trial was told he developed a “hatred” for Darren and walked from his address in Skegness to Ms Vincent’s home in High Holme Road, Louth, Lincolnshire, where he “loitered for hours”.

A psychiatrist instructed by Boulton’s counsel told Lincoln Crown Court on Wednesday the 30-year-old had “no control” when he killed his two victims.

Boulton, of Alexandra Road, admits the manslaughter of Darren and Ms Vincent but denies their murder.

The court was previously told he led Lincolnshire Police on a manhunt until the following day, when he allegedly stabbed an off-duty police officer in the leg in the Hubbard’s Hills area of Louth before being Tasered and arrested at a nearby farm.

Telling jurors what the defendant had told him in an interview, Dr Pablo Vandenabeele said: “He said, in his words, he went into autopilot.

“(He said,) ‘It is like I wasn’t there and autopilot did the job for me’.”

Dr Vandenabeele said Boulton told him, “It is like she went into the knife,” when describing the moment he stabbed Ms Vincent.

Going on to describe what happened when he killed Darren, the jurors heard how the defendant told the psychiatrist: “The initial few stabs wasn’t me.”

Under cross-examination from prosecutor Katherine Goddard QC, Dr Vandenabeele said he believed Boulton lost control “after he picked up the knife”.

He said: “The ferocity of the attack, to me, indicates that he lost control of his actions.”

Ms Goddard then asked: “But could it also be consistent with someone expressing rage in the form of pure violence?”

The psychiatrist replied: “I guess that’s a matter for the jury to decide but, in my opinion, he did lose control.”

Louth incident
Forensic officers at the scene on High Holme Road in Louth on June 1 last year (Joe Giddens/PA)

After listing all the occasions leading up to the killings where it is agreed Boulton had control, such as walking 28 miles to Louth, loitering outside the house for hours, and having a cigarette on the back doorstep afterwards, Ms Goddard then asked: “But you say no control in the few moments it took to kill?”

“That is my understanding, yes,” the witness replied.

The trial continues.

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