THE mother of a disturbed Crewe man knifed to death by his gay lover has spoken out on the anniversary of his killing, saying the mental health system is flawed.
David Crawford, 32, was stabbed twice in the neck by his partner Karl Munnerley during a heated row at the flat they shared in Edleston Road.
The pair had met at the voluntary Webb House mental health unit in Victoria Avenue in Crewe which aims to treat adults with personality disorders.
The 29-bed centre terms itself a Democratic Therapeutic Community and uses group-psychotherapy sessions to involve patients in the care of other patients.
But David's bereaved mum Gladys has criticised the modern-style care system. She said: 'If it wasn't for Webb House my son might still be alive today.
'The centre has let both David and Karl down. I feel I have to speak out so the system is changed and this can't happen again.'
Mrs Crawford described how David was transferred to the Crewe unit in April 2001 after harming himself and trying to commit suicide while in Altcourse Prison.
The former chef had been imprisoned for setting fire to the flat he was staying at in Manchester, where he had moved after previous stays in Blackpool and Chester.
While in Webb House he struck up a relationship with 27-year-old Munnerley, and in April 2002 the two moved into the Edleston Road flat together.
But a year later, on April 26 last year, the two had an argument and, after a barrage of sexual taunts, Munnerley stabbed David to death with a kitchen knife.
Mrs Crawford, a housewife from Northop Hall, in North Wales, criticised Webb House for not involving patients' families and for allowing her son to move out with Munnerley.
She said: 'The centre lets the patients say how they think they should be treated, but the family just isn't involved. It has to be a serious flaw.
'If people have mental problems they should be closely watched and not allowed out.
'Look at what Karl did to David at the flat.
'If they weren't allowed out David wouldn't have been killed.'
'One minute he was great but the next minute he wouldn't speak to you. But we loved the bones of him. We thought he was going forward but he couldn't cope with reality.'
And despite losing her only son, Mrs Crawford, who is married to Gary, 53, and has two daughters Janice, 32, and Rachael, 29, expressed sympathy for his killer.
She said: 'I don't like him for what he has done, but Webb House failed the two of them. I want help for him now because I don't want this to happen to anyone else.'
Lezli Boswell, chief executive of the Bolton, Salford and Trafford Mental Health NHS Trust which runs Webb House, refused to talk about individual cases.
She said: 'Service users attending Webb House do so on a voluntary basis and no one is detained under the Mental Health Act.
'The service at Webb House aims to find a balance between the wishes of the individual and the involvement of family members.
'The clinical focus is centred on the individual and this must take into respect issues around confidentiality.
'Webb House does, however, offer an introduction meeting for family members, family group sessions, and with the service user's approval family members are invited to attend therapy sessions.'