The mother of a murder suspect who stabbed his partner’s ex-boyfriend in a knife frenzy after a row broke out over an iPad was slammed by 24 Hours in Police Custody.
Last night’s episode of the Channel 4 show focused on Robert Parkins, 33, who was jailed for murder after stabbing Alex Fitzpatrick, 30, originally from Cornwall, at least 17 times in St Neots, Cambridgeshire on 13 October 2019.
Detectives explained how on that sunny afternoon, Alex got into a disagreement with his nine-year-old son’s mother, Kelly after dropping him home after swimming.
They added that when Alex refused to give her their son’s glasses until he got an iPad he wanted to upload a programme to, an annoyed Robert stormed out of the semi-detached home with a kitchen knife.
He left Alex bleeding to death on the doorstep after stabbing him through the heart, spinal cord and on the back of the head.
On last night’s programme, Robert’s mother Janet said she was heartbroken that her son had been jailed, telling the camera: ‘It’s not going to be the same without him. Robert is everywhere I look.
But viewers slammed Janet after she said her son was a ‘lovely’ boy, with one writing: ‘There comes a point surely after you find out that your child stabbed a person 15 times, you have to stop defending them. Right?
Janet – the mother of murder suspect Robert Parkins – was interviewed in custody on suspicion of concealing the whereabouts of her son on last night’s episode of C4’s 24 hours in police custody
Robert Parkins (pictured), 33 stabbed Alex Fitzpatrick (30) at least 17 times in his neck and chest outside of the home of Kelly Anderson, St Neots in Cambridgeshire
Another wrote: “That Janet in 24 Hours of Police Custody, is absolutely unhinged.”
“Her son killed someone, and she feels bad because she won’t be able to see him anymore when she goes to the shop.”
After Robert fled the scene, CCTV revealed that he made his way to his parents’ house and then escaped to London.
Detectives from Cambridgeshire’s Major Crime Unit decided to arrest the parents of the missing man on suspicion of assisting an offender in the hope that they will give away where he is hiding and reveal what lay behind the attack.
Many viewers were shocked by Janet’s attitude toward her son’s crimes.
Janet was distraught to be asked if Robert still lives at her home. He’s been a rock and that boy is a great boy. He is a loving, kind, and helpful son.
Arthur, Robert’s father, shared his thoughts in a separate interview. He said: “All I know about Robert, he’s called his mum in a panic.
Jan replied, “Where?” He wouldn’t tell us his location.
Janet replied that he probably didn’t want me to get involved. Janet was asked if she knew why he didn’t tell them this information. My sister died just yesterday.’
As police struggled to find the missing killer, cameras captured every turn and camera shot. Officers pushed to see if family loyalty could be stretched before it broke.
Robert was finally found hiding at Janet’s London sister’s home. Janet was unaware of what had occurred previously.
Janet stated that her son had called to tell her he was being ‘attacked’ during the interview.
She said that he was in a panic. He did get in our car. He was scared, he said, I think I’ve hurt him bad Mum. I said, “Well, we’ll sort this out in the afternoon son.” We’ll be going to the police in the morning.
She said that her son was living with her and added: “I’ve had very serious illness, his sisters have been very serious.” He’s been a rock and that boy is a great boy. He is a wonderful, loving son.
‘A helpful son. What has happened? I know it’s murder. It’s unbelievable. It is not his nature. I want to see him. He must be terrified.
‘If this has been done and it’s a murder, it must have been manslaughter or defense or something. My son would never let him hurt anyone. He takes care of me, my sister and his dad – he is just amazing.
“Murder sounds terrible, it is just terrible.”
Janet was shocked when the detective explained that Robert had been taken away. Janet replied, “Well, I didn’t realize it was such a crime helping your children who have been hurt, upset, or running scared.” I didn’t know that there was any type offence.
“I would feel that any kind of loving mother would protect and help her children.”
Arthur and her asked Arthur to tell their son, ‘love’, as they were leaving the station. She added, ‘We’ll get him some clothes.
Mary, Alex’s mother, said that Alex could say terrible things but that everyone does it at the moment. He was afraid that someone else would take care of his son.
“He was worried about Rob because of some of his past. He was saying that he was unstable. He didn’t want his son around him.
“For three weeks, he was telling my son this guy was bad news. He was so worried.” He couldn’t do anything to change the fact that his son was in this situation.
She broke down and said: ‘To discover someone has taken your child’s life for those two seconds he was angry at you for. I miss him every day. I would like to speak to him and get his advice, but he isn’t there.
Janet said she saw her son all the time and added that it was like living in her head. He’s always around the corner when I look out into the garden.
“He’s just always there.” But he isn’t.
The altercation occurred after Alex (pictured) got into a disagreement with his nine-year-old son’s mother, Kelly after dropping him home after swimming
However, viewers struggled with empathy towards Janet and Arthur.
One person wrote, “This is infuriating.” Your son is not dead, you can visit …. him in prison. But the man he killed is gone, and his mother and father will never see him again.
Another commenter said: “I wonder if Janet spared a thought about Alex’s mum, who has lost her son, and about Alex’s son, who is now without his dad.”
The court heard Robert Parkins flee the scene and discard the knife he used. Alex Fitzpatrick had formed animosity between them.
After Robert fled the scene, CCTV revealed that he made his way to his parents’ house and then escaped to London (pictured)
The victim had received the news that Robert had moved in with Kelly and his nine-year-old son, September 2019, and had’made his thoughts clear’, according to the trial.
After the incident that occurred on Sunday, October 13, Parkins ran to his sister’s home and called for a lift to a property in Pymmes Brook House, London where he was later arrested by police.
Janet and Arthur Parkins were issued a caution for helping an offender.
Parkins was sent to prison for life in August 2020.
Detectives from Cambridgeshire’s Major Crime Unit decide to arrest the parents of the missing man (pictured, father Arthur) in the hope that they will give away where he is hiding and reveal what lay behind the attack
Senior investigating officer Detective Superintendent Michael Branston stated that the verdict was the result of a brutal, frenzied, and sustained attack that led to the death of a man whose child will now live without his father.
Alex’s loved ones are our deepest sympathies. I hope that today’s verdict will give them some help as they learn how to cope with this tragedy.
Mary Reading and Dave Fitzpatrick praised their son by stating: ‘Alexa was a loving, devoted father, son, and brother to his eight brothers.
“He was always there to help us and tried to improve himself every day.
“After hearing the evidence, Alex’s injuries, today’s outcome is such a relief.
Alex’s mother broke down on camera as well, saying that she missed him all of the time’ and that’she wanted to talk to him.