It’s been two decades since his sister was brutally murdered, but for David Myles the pain remains as raw as if it was yesterday.
Elizabeth Myles, who was just 19, suffered 35 separate injuries – including a fatal stab wound to her lung – in a “prolonged and sustained” attack at the hands of Lee Barrass, who was armed with a knife.
Barrass was sentenced to life behind bars for his brutal crime, but her brother claims he has endured his own life sentence.
David, now 37, said: “I was diagnosed with PTSD after my sister was murdered in Dundee 20 years ago.
“Her murder has blighted my entire life and I have suffered serious mental health problems as a result making it impossible for me to work. I also care for my elderly gran.”
Miss Myles, known as Beth, bled to death at her flat in Red Admiral Court, Whitfield, on October 21, 2000.
The Big Issue seller sustained numerous cuts to her hands and arms as she tried to ward off Barrass’s knife attack.
During the trial, forensic expert Professor Anthony Busuttil said he believed some of the wounds on Beth’s body had been inflicted after her death.
Barrass was linked to the crime scene by DNA evidence – traces of blood recovered from his trainer and watch gave an exact match with Miss Myles’ DNA profile.
David, who lives in Dryburgh, has battled with the impact of losing his sister in such a brutal way ever since and says his mental health issues have been heightened because of the Covid-19 outbreak.
He said: “I receive Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) – which is money if you cannot work because of illness or disability – but I don’t get anything else.
“I am finding everything much more expensive just now, especially not being able to buy the brands I might normally buy and having to buy more expensive things.
“I just think something needs to be done to highlight the situation that people with mental health issues are in currently.
“Having extra financial worries only adds to stress and increases mental health concerns.”
David has said more needs to be done to help people in his position during the ongoing crisis.
He added: “It seems that the mentally ill have been forgotten about at this time.
“I keep reading about other individuals and businesses who are receiving extra benefits to get through this but there has been nothing announced for someone like myself who is struggling to cope with mental health during the pandemic, and the extra costs and pressures it has brought us.”
A DWP spokesman said: “The government is committed to supporting those with physical and mental health conditions. We understand that claimants may face extra challenges in their lives at present.
“We would urge Mr Myles to contact us, as he may be entitled to further financial support.”