An Abingdon killer who stabbed a father of two to death in the town’s Poundland store had previously threatened to murder his neighbour, an inquest heard.
Dr Phil Davison told Oxford Coroner’s Court that Trevor Joyce, of Franklyn Close, was admitted and discharged from a mental health centre after confessing to threatening a neighbour’s life.
The inquest heard that Joyce, who posted a death threat through his neighbour’s door, told his psychiatrist that if they had been in when he knocked on their door, he would have killed them.
Joyce was arrested four times in one week just two months before the attack, before he was voluntarily admitted to Littlemore Mental Health Centre.
Six weeks after being allowed to leave on October 28 2015, Joyce grabbed a knife from the shelf in the Abindgon Poundland store in the shopping precinct and stabbed Justin Skrebowski, a 61-year-old art dealer from Sunnymead, Oxford.
Mr Skrebowski was buying balloons for his wife Gulsen Alkan’s 39th birthday when Joyce attacked him on December 7 2015 at around 11.20am.
Joyce was sentenced to life in prison in 2016 with a minimum of nine years for the manslaughter of Mr Skrebowski with diminished responsibility due to his mental functions being diminished or impaired.
More than 40 people are due to give evidence in the two-week long inquest which will examine the treatment given to Joyce, who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Mrs Alkan strongly fought for the inquest and in the months following her husband’s death launched an online campaign for tighter control over the sale of knives in shops.
More than 52,000 people signed the petition to Prime Minister Theresa May, leading to 11 retail giants agreeing to safer storage of knives in stores, including Poundland.
In March 2016, Waitrose, Tesco, Morrisons, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Lidl also agreed to change the way they sell knives, alongside John Lewis, Wilko, Argos and Amazon UK.
Mrs Alkan said at the time: “I cannot say this makes me happy because I wish so very much that it had never happened and that Justin was with me and our twins now, but it is the only thing that has brought me peace.”
Joyce had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act on three occasions since 1997.