My friend and her son were killed by dad

Paul Chadwick.
Paul Chadwick.

The friend of a mother brutally stabbed to death by her partner has paid tribute to her, saying she had ‘a heart of gold.’

Lisa Clay, 40, died alongside her six-year-old son Joseph Chadwick at their Bolton-le-Sands home on April 9.

Tragically Lisa’s friend and workmate Tracey Maplethorpe was sending texts and calling her house unaware her friend was dead.

Tracey, 43, of Swineshead, Lincolnshire, said: “I hadn’t seen her so much since she moved to Morecambe but we used to text and call each other and send birthday and Christmas cards.

“In April I was sending her texts and calling her house but didn’t hear anything back which I thought was a bit odd. Then I found out within days that she had passed away.

“It’s tragic really. At first we were really angry but then we realised that he didn’t realise what he was doing because he was ill.

“I was hoping she was asleep when it happened, and Joseph as well, but they obviously did know about it.

“Maybe if they had got him in to the doctor’s sooner things could have been different but it doesn’t work like that.

“That might have been what tipped him over the edge, he didn’t want to be without them in an institution.”

Lisa and Joseph went to a bonfire display in Lincolnshire last year and friends who saw the family said they appeared to be really happy.

Tracey said: “We couldn’t understand why anyone could do anything like that to Lisa, she wouldn’t hurt a fly. She would do anything for anyone, she had a heart of gold.

“He has to live with what he has done and it is always going to be with him.”

Paul Chadwick, 34, has been detained under the Mental Health Act.

He previously admitted the manslaughter of Joseph Chadwick and Lisa Clay on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The freelance gardener repeatedly stabbed them multiple times in the family’s bungalow in Lowlands Road on April 9.

He also stabbed himself in the neck and body.

Joseph, described as ‘cheeky and fun-loving’ by relatives, was found in his bedroom and Ms Clay, who worked part time at Marks and Spencer in Lancaster, in the hallway.

They were discovered by a relative who visited the address after unsuccessful attempts to contact them.

At sentencing at Preston Crown Court last Wednesday, it was determined that Chadwick should stay at Guild Lodge psychiatric hospital.

Tim Cross, headteacher at Bolton-le-Sands CE Primary School, where Joseph attended, is working with the tragic child’s grandparents on a permanent memorial.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), previously authorised police to charge Chadwick with murder, but the lesser manslaughter charges were accepted after psychiatric reports.

Claire Hilton, senior prosecutor for CPS North West, previously said: “This is a tragic case involving the death of a mother and son who had their lives ahead of them.

“The psychiatric reports concluded that Mr Chadwick’s responsibility for his actions was substantially impaired at the time.

“We acknowledge that nothing can make up for the loss felt by the family and friends of Lisa Clay and Joseph Chadwick, and our thoughts are very much with them all at this time.”