'Nicola Edgington was clearly dangerous – why was she walking the streets': Mother of 13-year-old killed by a psychiatric patient last year demands to know why it was allowed to happen again
13-year-old daughter, Casey Kearney, was walking through a park when her
path crossed with that of psychiatric patient, Sarah Bonser.
ill Bonser, now 27, stabbed her once in the stomach, then fled –
leaving the child bleeding and alone, slumped in a playground.
Although Casey managed to ring 999, it was too late and she died in hospital, five hours later.
Bonser, meanwhile, went to the headquarters of a local health charity and confessed to workers there, saying she'd 'done something silly.'
For Casey's mother Kerry, 33, news of Hodkin's similarly pointless death has been hard to take, and she is furious that yet another dangerous psychiatric patient has been allowed to slip through the net and take another innocent life.
Monster: Hannah Bonser had been free to roam the streets, despite having declared herself 'evil'
'Edgington was clearly dangerous,' she says. 'She'd killed her own mother – I don't understand why she was walking the streets. Like Bonser, she told people she was dangerous, but no one listened.
'Losing Casey has broken my heart. I cry every day. No one else should suffer this senseless pain.'
Kerry's own nightmare began 45 minutes after Bonser's attack on Casey, when police phoned to break the news that her daughter had been seriously injured.
Along with Casey's father, Anthony, and her labourer husband, Mark, 28, Kerry rushed to the hospital, only to discover that Casey was dying.
A major artery near Casey's spine had been severed, and despite the desperate efforts of doctors, the 13-year-old child was slipping away.
'I was taken to see her and completely broke down,' remembers Kerry. 'There were tubes everywhere, but she looked peaceful. I clutched her hand and told her I loved her over and over.'
At 9pm, less than 12 hours after Casey had first laid eyes on Bonser, she died – leaving Kerry bereft and wondering how to break the news to Casey's three younger sisters.
In a statement released at the time, Kerry and Anthony spoke of the pain of losing their daughter in such appalling circumstances and paid tribute to the teenager.
'Losing Casey has been so painful words cannot begin to explain,' they said. 'She was the most beautiful, intelligent and bright young girl with her whole life ahead of her.'
The weeks that followed were tough, with a devastated Kerry left trying to support her younger daughters in their grief as well as attempting to deal with her own. But another harrowing experience was still to come.
Five months after Casey's death, Bonser went on trial at Sheffield Crown Court, but pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Tragedy: Grandmother Sally Hodkin (left) was murdered by deranged killer, Nicola Edgington
Horror: The roped-off children's play area where Casey was stabbed to death by Bonser
She had, it turned out, been known to psychiatrists since the age of nine, following the death of her mother.
Brought up a strict Mormon, Bonser later developed a fascination with druids and was terrified of crows, having convinced herself that they were actually flying people.
After being taken into care, Bonser was seen by 16 different psychiatrists over 17 years, five consultancy teams and 20 community workers, and attempted suicide on 10 separate occasions.
Bonser had also been sectioned three times and had begged to be admitted to the Doncaster Royal Infirmary the month before the attack, telling staff she was a 'complete psychopath' and heard voices in her head telling her to kill.
Just days before the attack on Casey, she had told a friend that she was 'evil', was going to stab an ex-boyfriend and 'get anyone else who crossed her.'
The sight of Bonser sitting in court made Kerry feel sick, she says. Her lack of remorse, only crying when her history was discussed, made things even worse.
Even the 22-year sentence handed down to Bonser didn't help, with Kerry left furious that despite all the opportunities to lock Bonser away, she had still been left free to roam the streets and take Casey's life.
'Bonser destroyed my life,' says Kerry. 'But I blame the authorities for not acting sooner. Bonser was deemed safe – despite saying she wanted to kill. If someone had listened, Casey would be here today. I've lost everything in the most senseless way.'
Sadly for the family of Sally Hodkin, it seems that those in a position of power are still failing to heed her warning.
Read the full interview in this week's issue of Closer, out now
Innocent: Casey's death has, according to her mother, torn their family apart and ruined her life
Heartbroken: Kerry says she has cried every day since Casey's death at the hands of Bonser