“…brought on, in part, by his use of crack cocaine.”

July 13, 2007

Father blames school over the brutal death of his daughter

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David Brown and Patrick Foster

Harrow School was condemned by a senior master yesterday for tolerating a culture of drug abuse among pupils that led to the brutal killing of his daughter.

Lucy Braham was stabbed 66 times and her body mutilated in a sexually motivated attack by William Jaggs, the son of another master at Harrow, one of Britain’s best-known public schools, the Old Bailey was told.

The court heard that the attack came after the 23-year-old Oxford University student had developed paranoid schizophrenia brought on, in part, by his use of crack cocaine.

Miss Braham’s father, Jason, director of art at the school, told the court that Harrow School had let down his daughter. He said: “The school is to be challenged for its failure to act, for, as the son of a master, he continued to live in the community. Yet, despite warnings about Jaggs’s behaviour and that of his closest friends, no action was ever taken to call a halt to it.”

Jaggs, whose father Alan was head of design and technology at Harrow, yesterday pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Miss Braham, 25, in September last year.

The court heard that on the afternoon of September 14, Jaggs — who at the time was suspended from his college at Oxford — had used the ruse of selling a kitten to enter the Braham home and stripped Miss Braham naked at knifepoint, discarding his own clothes. He claimed that she told him to “stop hesitating and do it”, upon which he stabbed her 66 times.

A post mortem examination showed that she received 12 wounds to the chest, including nine to both lungs, 33 wounds to the back, 16 to the arms and five to her legs. Aftab Jafferjee, prosecuting, told the court that Jaggs had attempted to cut off her thumb with secateurs and saw her body in half.

When police arrived Jaggs threatened officers with the knife, before stabbing himself 31 times in a ferocious suicide attempt. The court heard that as he lay injured, a police officer told him that he was certain to die, upon which he confessed to the killing.

Mr Jafferjee told the court: “This was a sexually motivated attack upon an entirely innocent and blameless young woman inside the family home.

“But Jaggs was mentally ill at the time of the killing and that substantially reduces his responsibility for the terrible crime in law, if not probably in the minds of Lucy’s family.”

The court heard that his downward spiral into mental illness had been spurred on by drug abuse from the age of 14. Mr Jafferjee said that four eminent psychiatrists agreed that Jaggs had paranoid schizophrenia and a borderline personality disorder. The court heard that he had become obsessed with Simon MacPherson, a male model and son of a classics master at the school, who had been asked to leave Harrow after drugs paraphernalia was found in his room.

Philip Joseph, a consultant forensic psychiatrist, said Jaggs’s behaviour had become increasingly bizarre throughout his teenage years and he was confused about his sexuality. The court heard he had been asked to leave a boarding house after indecently assaulting a younger boy and in 2005, after going up to Oriel College, Oxford, he brandished a knife at girl at an Oxford party, having sex with her while she was tied up.

Mohammed Khamisa, QC, said in mitigation: “Drink and drugs appear to be readily available at Harrow School. Drinking led to cannabis, before long he was taking cocaine. He began to take cocaine and then LSD.”

Sentencing Jaggs to indefinite detention under the Mental Health Act, the judge, Mr Justice Bean, told him that he may never be released.

Harrow School refused to comment.

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