Sons forgive single mother, 51, as she is jailed for more than five years for trying to gas them to death when she felt ‘overwhelmed’ by money worries and family heartache
- Lisa Walmsley tried to gas her sons Lewis, 20, and Callum, 21, in their bedroom
- Lewis noticed fumes engulfing his room and ran to get help from the police
- Walmsley drove Callum away while secretly trying to gas him again
- Both Callum and Lewis have forgiven their mother for the attempted murder
Two sons have forgiven their mother for trying to gas them to death using barbecues as she was today jailed for more than five years.
Lisa Walmsley, 51, hid camp burners underneath the beds of her sons Lewis, 20, and Callum, 21, on News Years Day last year while in the midst of a nervous breakdown.
University student Lewis noticed carbon monoxide fumes engulfing his room and ran for help.
But his mother then drove Callum away in the family BMW while secretly burning barbecues in the back of the car.
Lisa Walmsley (pictured), 51, hid camp burners underneath the beds of her sons Lewis, 20, and Callum, 21, on News Years Day last year while in the midst of a nervous breakdown
Police arrived at the family’s £350,000 house, traced Walmsley from her mobile phone signal and found the car in time.
Experts found carbon monoxide levels at more than 10 times the fatal limit in Lewis’s bedroom.
Inquiries revealed Walmsley had been struggling to cope with Callum’s mental health difficulties and had been researching ways to kill both her sons and then take her own life to ‘protect’ the family from further ‘suffering.’
Both boys have since forgiven their mother following the attempts on their lives on January 1, 2019.
At Manchester Crown Court, Walmsley, of Cheadle Hulme, near Stockport, Greater Manchester admitted attempted murder and was jailed for five years and four months.
University student Lewis (pictured) noticed carbon monoxide fumes engulfing his room and ran for help. But his mother then drove Callum away in the family BMW while secretly burning barbecues in the back of the car
She had been described by friends as a ‘kind and dedicated mother’ and appeared to be leading an idyllic lifestyle which including yachting trips and visits to a shooting club.
But Walmsley had been suffering a ‘series of challenges in her life’ including the ill health of her late mother, father and sister. In 2005 she sought treatment for depression and was given antidepressants but in 2010 she and her husband Andrew divorced leaving her to bring up the two boys.
Callum himself had mental problems including depression and had to be talked out of jumping off a bridge. He was offered support by social services but his mother declined offers of counselling and help for herself.
Rob Hall prosecuting said: ‘It is fair to say that Miss Walmsley’s life has had a number of challenges that were not of her making and it appears these extra challenges combined with depression triggered her ideas of suicide and feelings she could not cope.
Police arrived at the family’s £350,000 house, traced Walmsley (pictured) from her mobile phone signal and found the car in time
‘Towards the end of December, the defendant and Callum started planning how they could commit suicide.’
After Walmsley and Callum had been driving for a few minutes, the car started to fill with smoke and the defendant parked the car and Callum asked repeatedly: ”What’s going on?” Initially she didn’t answer but then said: ”Why don’t we kill ourselves tonight?’‘
‘Callum agreed as he was in an emotional mess and confused and shocked. In retrospect what he really wanted was the defendant’s help and support to get him out of this depression and they spent about 30 minutes discussing how to end their lives.’
Sentencing Judge Patrick Field QC told Walmsley: ‘You are regarded as an excellent loving mother and the overwhelming impression I have gained from many testimonials is one of disbelief you could attempt to kill those who are so dear to you.
‘It appears you were motivated by events including Callum’s own mental illness plus financial and other difficulties you were experiencing – you felt hopeless and powerless and overwhelmed. The picture itself was one of overwhelming despair.