To have some sympathy for Nicola Edgington?

(163 Posts)
lougle Mon 04-Mar-13 22:25:51

Report from BBC

This woman had killed before. She knew she was a danger to the public. She dialled 999 four times to tell them that she needed sectioning to prevent a killing.

I know she did what she did. I can't imagine what her victims' families are going through.

I do feel some sympathy for her though. She tried to get herself out of circulation.

FreudiansSlipper Mon 04-Mar-13 23:40:59

she asked for help she walked as she did not get the help she so desperately needed if she did we would not be discussing this

Kiriwawa Mon 04-Mar-13 23:41:51

She is mentally ill squeaky. She asked for help and was ignored.

TheSteveMilliband Mon 04-Mar-13 23:41:55

Really think its much more complex than "getting her the right help". Sadly, there are some people who may be mentally disturbed but not ill or treatable. And what role would mental health services have but to lock them away for public protection? And is that medical staffs responsibility (is making Drs custodians really a good idea?). Best predictor of risk by far is past risk which is not modifiable, which means that in the absence of treatable illness, future risk is hard to change. So people could be locked up for years. Many times more people than would actually commit a crime (Ben goldacre has a good article on just how many more). Very difficult questions

She did walk out squeaky but surely - when she called, and went to the hospital, and begged for help, it cannot be held too much against her that she just wasn't strong enough alone to "hang on" so to speak, and succumbed to whatever it was that drove her to go out and then kill someone. She is a victim too - it's a different sympathy I feel for her, but I do feel some, she was let down by the system, that is supposedly there to help her, when she needed it most. None of the professionals who saw/spoke to her seem to have lifted one finger to actually stop her - I know I am ignorant of the procedures in MH cases, and sectioning people, but surely someone who has killed before, and then begs for help saying they think they will kill again, and asking to be sectioned/prevented from doing so, should be at least listened to and well, prevented? confused
It's just so sad on so many levels, for everyone concerned sad

squeakytoy Mon 04-Mar-13 23:43:26

do we know how long she waited to be helped? did she wait two minutes? ten? two hours? we dont know..

Society has been failed because she was released in the first place after killing her mother.

AmberLeaf Mon 04-Mar-13 23:43:42

The authorities should be blamed because they didn't perform a basic name check which would have highlighted her past crime and history of mental illness.

Four phonecalls to 999 talking about killing someone and yet she was still left in an unsecure area?

Yes they fucked up.

Very clever of that judge blaming her and calling her manipulative, that way shes just evil and everyone can lay it all on her, while excuses are made for all the errors made by numerous professionals.

Flojobunny Mon 04-Mar-13 23:44:05

Freudian I'm thinking along line of bored or lonely or attention seeking or wanting DLA. All of which aren't a classified illness but most 'normal' (yes I know, horrible word but can't think of better one right now) people would not do.

AmberLeaf Mon 04-Mar-13 23:45:29

The timeline of events is available squeaky.

Maryz Mon 04-Mar-13 23:48:25

But you can't section people just because you think they might kill someone.

She was taken to the hospital.

She left. They can't keep everyone in hospital who wants to leave. That would be a violation of their human rights.

I do think she was failed by the mh system - but I'm not exactly sure what else could have been done for her on that day.

And her victims and their families were let down more and deserve a lot more sympathy, imo.

VelvetSpoon Mon 04-Mar-13 23:48:43

I live a few miles from where this happened, in a road I have walked down hundreds of times. I know, very distantly, of the victims family.

Clearly the police should have done more to keep her at QE hospital (there was a failure to check the PNC etc) but according to those who psychiatrically evaluated Edgington as part of this case, she was in control of her actions. Hence being charged with and now convicted of murder.

The judge's comments as I understand it are based on the psychiatric evidence.

I have no sympathy for her at all, because if that evidence is correct, she's already got away with murder once.

FreudiansSlipper Mon 04-Mar-13 23:51:19

threats to harm yourself are more often than not ignored. Someone who is harming themselves needs help they are ill and yes it may be a need for attention or others may call it a cry for help

AmberLeaf Mon 04-Mar-13 23:52:35

checked into the hospital at 4:29am

she made 4 calls to 999 before she was taking to oxleas house saying she was worried about killing again and letting them know she had killed before.

taken to oxleas house at 6:30am, left in an unsecured reception area.

left at 7:05am.

attacked the two women at 8:30am.

The IPCC report is damning.

AmberLeaf Mon 04-Mar-13 23:54:03

IPCC commissioner Sarah Green said it was of 'great concern' that police did not carry out a PNC check

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 05-Mar-13 00:00:05

can i just say that often, as a police officer, i take people clearly unwell to the 136 suite at hospital, and then, a psyche who looks about 12 will assess them within 20 minutes and tell them and us that they are fine and can go home.

we then get another call within hours more often than not.

it ties up police for hours and hours and nothing ever gets done. its disheartening and its the same people again and again. Police can feel pretty powerless in these situations - often custody sgts wont accept someone on the grounds that they are mentally ill and tell you to go to hospital - where you wait hours to be told they can go home and pose no threat.

to be phoned back again within hours.
to start the whole process off again.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 05-Mar-13 00:01:10

police have no power to keep someone at hospital.

see above ^

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 05-Mar-13 00:04:20

im trying not get wound up but honestly - if you could see the amount of calls to 999 that state they are going to kill someone,

i went to a house where bloke was cutting himself with razor and saying if police came he would stab them.

then refused to go with ambulance once they got in.
we contacted crisis team.
who said he was fine.

we couldnt sit there all night. there were 4 bobbies on duty that night. 2 cars. crisis team said he was fine.

see above ^ again. and ^ that.

squeakytoy Tue 05-Mar-13 00:04:42

Would she not have been on some sort of licence or parole though? Genuine question as I am unsure of the law when someone has been detained under the mental health act rather than just in prison? Considering she was only on a conditional discharge for manslaughter.

AmberLeaf Tue 05-Mar-13 00:05:57

Is it usual to check their name on the PNC Vicar? is that something tthat is routinely done?

FreudiansSlipper Tue 05-Mar-13 00:08:01

I sympathise with you vicar

The guy who approached me was unwell he needed help he knew he would be arrested how desperate do you have to be to go that far but it's not the police he needs

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 05-Mar-13 00:08:45

there would have been intel but i cant see what good it would have done under the circumstances.

they took her to hospital - she left and wasnt detained. hospitals just let people walk out all the time - tbf they cant stop them.

we are always getting calls that mirror this - so and so has walked out of hospital wearing x y z and can we then go and find them....

takes hours. takes resources that are not there. we take them back.
they walk out again
we get called again
we go and search for them and take them back
they walk out
we get called again
we go and search for them and take them back
they walk out

see a pattern?

i work on a duty group that used to have 20 bobbies on it. it now has 7.
do the maths.

Maryz Tue 05-Mar-13 00:12:47

I wonder how many people called 999 last year saying they were going to kill someone and didn't?

Because if every single person who claimed that was detained, the secure hospitals would be overflowing (and most of them are anyway). And the police would be being sued all over the place for unlawful detention if they were placed in police cells "in case".

The police can't win here.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 05-Mar-13 00:14:21

unless the PNC check said "this person will kill someone again" then the intel would have done sod all.

the bobbies would have taken her to the 136 suite.
we are not obliged to stay with patients in the 136 suite but we often do anyway. for hours.
then often they are assessed and released.

i took one woman who was absolutely in need of admitting.
she stayed for a few hoursa nd then walked out.
they called - we went - she was in her house by then and there is sod all then we can do - no power to detain a person in their own house no matter how unwell they are....

missed opportunity.
once they walk out of hospital you have lost the window of opportunity to do anything.
vicious cycle that i see every single week. some times ends in tragedy. we cannot babysit psyche patients - its not the polices job to do that - hospitals need to take some responsibility here too.
they let patients walk out all the time - they walk past their security! then they call 999 and tell us to go and find them! drives me insane.

Plomino Tue 05-Mar-13 00:15:36

I take people to hospital at least once a week every week under sec 136 . Often , it's the same people . Over and over and over .

Even if police had done a PNC check , exactly what do you think that would have achieved ? She would have been taken to the hospital . Now lets look at the practical side of this . How long do you think I have stood with a patient , even a violent , volatile , seriously agitated one, waiting for the crisis team or doctor to come and evaluate them ? 30 minutes ? A hour ? Two ? No . Last week , I was in a and e for six hours , waiting for someone who had gone running down the road naked and armed with a fuckoff great knife to be assessed .Six hours . With 4 other colleagues , because he was SO unpredictable , and hospital security staff REFUSED to help . 5 colleagues , from a team of ten , for virtually a whole shift . And all the while listening to reports coming out of serious domestic violence , road accidents , and others of people urgently needing our help , whilst we're sitting in a and e . Eventually , the crisis team come along , and he gets taken to the ward .

Next day , another call . Male running down the road naked . Guess who ? He'd got let out less than 24 hours later . Cue round two , except this time it involved CS gas and two officers assaulted .

How many calls a shift do you think police get called to ? On average , on my borough , around 70 in eight hours that need officers deploying to. Of that , roughly 10 will involve mental health . If we took everyone to hospital , and stayed there until they were assessed ( and remember being assessed does not guarantee them either a bed OR even treatment ) , we would literally have NO officers on the street for anything else . None .

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 05-Mar-13 00:16:59

oh hi plom....

deja vu....

snap. its fucking depressing isnt it?

AmberLeaf Tue 05-Mar-13 00:17:52

Yes, the issue of no security seems key, but the report did say that there was a missed opportunity to section her? if she had been sectioned she wouldnt have been able to just walk out would she?

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