Death of Nina Mackay

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Nina Alexandra Mackay
WPC Nina Mackay.jpg
Born Essex, England
Died 24 October 1997 (aged 25)
Stratford, London England
Police career
Department Metropolitan Police Service
Years of service 1992–1997
Rank Woman Police Constable

WPC Nina Alexandra Mackay was a police officer serving with London's Metropolitan Police Service who was fatally stabbed on 24 October 1997 by a man with paranoid schizophrenia she was attempting to arrest. She is the only female police officer in Great Britain to have been stabbed to death while on duty and her killing was the first of a female officer since the murder of Yvonne Fletcher in 1984.

Background[edit]

Mackay was from Essex, the only daughter of Sidney MacKay, a former chief superintendent with the Metropolitan Police Service. She was educated at Bancroft's School,[1] a co-educational independent school in the town of Woodford Green, in the suburb of Woodford in north-east London, where her classmates included journalist and presenter Anita Anand.

Mackay joined the Metropolitan Police and served in the service's Territorial Support Group for five years until her death.[2]

Death[edit]

On 24 October 1997, Mackay went with colleagues to a property in Arthingworth Street in Stratford, east London, to arrest a man who was in breach of bail conditions.[2]

After removing her protective vest for ease of movement and then forcing entry into the bedsit, Mackay led her colleagues into the hallway, where she was confronted by a man armed with a knife with a seven-and-a-half-inch blade. He stabbed the officer once in the chest. She was taken to hospital by ambulance but died two hours later from her injuries. The suspect was arrested and later charged with her murder.[3]

Aftermath[edit]

At the Old Bailey in October 1998, Magdi Elgizouli, an unemployed man with paranoid schizophrenia was convicted of Mackay's manslaughter. The British-born 30-year-old of Sudanese origin had been charged with murder but the jury accepted his defence of diminished responsibility. He was detained indefinitely, initially at Rampton Secure Hospital in Nottinghamshire[2] and later at St. Bernard's Hospital in west London.[4]

It was subsequently reported that prior to killing Mackay, Elgizouli had served time in prison for shoplifting, was on bail for assaulting a police officer and possessing a knife, and had stopped taking his medication for his schizophrenia. He had also smoked cannabis, which had apparently exacerbated his condition, and he had an expressed hatred of the police.[citation needed]

A 1999 inquiry into Mackay's death criticized the Metropolitan Police for not attempting to have a family member persuade Elgizouli to leave the flat peacefully, and recommended that mentally ill people should be given greater support and that guidance on helping patients take their medication needed to be improved.[3] Despite calls from Mackay's family, the report did not recommend that patients be compelled to take their medication.[5]

In 2008 Elgizouli was granted day-release from his secure unit for four hours per week,[4] plus a further five hours once each month to visit his brother.[citation needed] After four years of occasional day-release, in 2012 it was reported that Elgizouli was to be moved from the secure unit to a community hostel with full freedom of movement. Due to his expressed hatred of the police, he was to be housed in a suburban area of London with few police on patrol.[citation needed]

Memorials[edit]

The Nina Mackay II police boat

In 1998, the Police Memorial Trust erected a memorial to Mackay at the place on Arthingworth Street in Stratford where she was stabbed.[6] The memorial was unveiled by the then prime minister, Tony Blair.[7]

The Metropolitan Police Marine Policing Unit has a Botnia Targa 31 boat named Nina Mackay II and there is a road in Stratford called Nina Mackay Close.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 'Guide to Independent Schools' – Bancroft's School – Former pupils Guide to Independent Schools Retrieved: 22 November 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "Man admits manslaughter of WPC". BBC News. 22 October 1998. Retrieved 2011-09-04. 
  3. ^ a b Amelia Gentleman (19 April 1999). "Serious failings led to PC death". The Guardian. Retrieved 2017-02-09. 
  4. ^ a b Sarah Knapton (26 August 2008). "Police warned to stay away from released killer". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-02-09. 
  5. ^ "Mentally ill 'need more support'". BBC News. 19 April 1999. Retrieved 2011-09-04. 
  6. ^ "Police Memorial for Nina MacKay". Policememorial.org.uk. Retrieved 2011-09-04. 
  7. ^ "Blair's tribute to 'remarkable' officer". BBC News. Retrieved 2011-09-04. 
  8. ^ Kay Atwal (31 October 2012). "Pc Nina Mackay honoured in Stratford on 15th anniversary of death". Newham Recorder. Retrieved 7 September 2013.