Mentally ill son, 40, stabbed his mother, 59, to death before telling police ‘it’s a body bag job’ in a harrowing 999 call after she begged paramedics to give him treatment

A mother was brutally killed by her mentally ill son before he told police ‘it’s a body bag job’ in a shocking 999 call, a court has heard. 

Helen Harrison, 59, was so concerned about Rick Parker’s behaviour that she called for an ambulance so that he could be given a mental health assessment.

Prosecutor Geraldine Kelly told Hull Crown Court that Parker, 40, answered the door and said he ‘didn’t need their help’ and the paramedics decided he had the ‘capacity’ to refuse. 

Ms Kelly added: ‘They said they were sorry, there wasn’t anything they could do and they left.’

Moments later Parker launched a ferocious assault in the hallway of the family home in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire on March 5 last year. 

Helen Harrison (pictured) was strangled, struck on the head and stabbed in the chest with a 20-inch kitchen knife by son Rick Parker

Helen Harrison (pictured) was strangled, struck on the head and stabbed in the chest with a 20-inch kitchen knife by son Rick Parker 

He strangled his mother, struck her on the head and stabbed her in the chest with a 20-inch kitchen knife.

Parker then rang the ambulance service and told an operator it was ‘definitely a body-bag job.’

About 20 minutes after they left, the same two paramedics were sent back to the house.

They arrived with police and when asked if his mother was okay Parker replied, ‘she is now.’

There was a gruesome scene in the hallway and the knife was still in her shoulder, the court heard.

Ms Kelly said Parker also beat up his stepfather Roy Thompson, 72, two weeks earlier in an ‘unprovoked attack.’ 

He was punched and headbutted and moved in with a friend because he ‘feared for his own safety,’ said Ms Kelly.

Parker was charged with the murder of his mother and assaulting Mr Thompson.

But he was deemed unfit to stand trial by a judge due to his mental state. After a three-day finding-of-fact hearing a jury decided he did the acts.

The court heard Parker’s problems stemmed from a road accident in December 2021 when he was knocked off his bike and suffered spinal injuries.

‘He stopped working and it seemed his mental health went into decline,’ said Ms Kelly.

Helen, 59, was discovered fatally injured in Aspen Close, Market Weighton, on March 5 last year

Helen, 59, was discovered fatally injured in Aspen Close, Market Weighton, on March 5 last year

He began pacing up and down, talking to himself and laughing. Parker wouldn’t accept help from his mother and following the attack on Mr Thompson she told him she wanted him to leave their home.

On the day of the killing, Mr Thompson and mother-of-two Mrs Harrison were at the friend’s house.

She said she was going to go home ‘to see if she could persuade him to get help for his mental health issues.’

Mrs Harrison told the ambulance service that her son had been ‘whispering to himself…and didn’t seem to be in touch with reality’.

Mr Thompson drove his wife to Market Weighton but dropped her off near the house and stayed in the car because he was too afraid to go inside following the attack. She returned with his work clothes, gave him a kiss and said she would ring him later to tell him how she got on with her son, ‘but they were the last words he would hear from her.’

The two paramedics arrived at 4pm but Parker refused their help.

He seemed calm, but when his mother came to the door she appeared ‘slightly agitated and wanted to tell them what had been going on.’

One of the paramedics told her that her son appeared to have ‘full capacity’ and that they ‘couldn’t force him to do anything he didn’t want to do without consent.’

Soon after they left two neighbours heard ‘loud screams’ before it ‘went quiet.’

Parker dialled 999 and calmly said there was a woman lying dead in the hallway and that it must have been an accident.

He said it wasn’t a ‘desperate hurry’ but ‘I suppose someone will have to come down.’

James Horne, KC, for Parker, said he had never been able to give his own account of events in court due to his mental condition and had only ever said that there had been a ‘household accident.’

He said that Parker had ‘never before even shown a glimpse of physical hostility to his mum.’

Judge John Thackray KC adjourned the case but Parker is likely to be given a hospital order at a future hearing.

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