The 'mummy's boy' held after his parents are knifed to death at home he refused to leave
02nd October 2009
The son held over the brutal murders of his retired teacher parents was a 'Mummy's Boy' who had refused to leave home despite being in his mid 30s, it emerged last night.Daniel Dighton was found hiding in the attic by police after they discovered the bodies of his father Barry, a former prep school headteacher, and his mother Elizabeth, at the family's home in Croydon, South London.Mr and Mrs Dighton had suffered stab wounds and been subjected to an 'appalling frenzied attack', sources said.
One theory being investigated by police is that tensions had been rising over 34-year-old Daniel's failure to leave home and start a meaningful career. It is understood that his parents had bought or rented him a property in South London to make him more independent but he had returned to live with his parents.Three weeks ago he again moved back into the family home after failing to succeed as a teacher in a Montessori school in Thailand.He signed up to a teaching agency on his return, but spent his days drinking when there was no work.
His father Barry, 61, was for almost 20 years head of Elmhurst School for Boys in Croydon until his retirement in 2006. Under his guidance, it became one of the country's best independent prep schools. His mother Elizabeth, 60, enjoyed a successful teaching career at the school. Daniel worked as a caretaker and teaching assistant there for ten years until he left for Thailand in July. 'He was only there for a few weeks before he quit,' a friend said. 'It caused some tension with his parents.'
The day before the murders Daniel embarked on a 12-hour drinking session at his local pub, The Folly. His friend Kenny McCallum, 48, said: 'We had a good day. Everything he said was positive.' Last night Barry's brother David, 73, told the Daily Mail: 'We are all in a state of shock at the moment. We don't really know what has gone on.'Neighbours said a man, covered in blood and 'trembling', was led away in handcuffs after police responded to reports of a disturbance at the family home at 12.20pm on Wednesday.
Sources said Daniel had no history of mental health problems and had not been in trouble with the police before.Doctors who examined him yesterday concluded he was fit to be questioned by police.A source said: 'Daniel's over-dependence on his parents, and his failure to stand on his own two feet, may have prompted a bitter family feud.'Scotland Yard said a 34-year-old man remained in custody.