To have some sympathy for Nicola Edgington?(163 Posts)
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.
Could have been avoided. And that's so sad for all involved.
Horrific for the family of the woman she killed, but Nicola Edgington tried to get help and was failed.
It's just awful all round really
I do too. And the judge pissed me off saying that she was very manipulative. She tried to get herself sectioned several times but was ignored.
Yanbu... I remember Jayne Zito being incredibly forgiving of he man who killed her husband. He was failed by the mental health system.
she tried to get herself sectioned
but then walked out of the hospital and bought a knife and then stole another one
"tried to get help"
she walked away from the hospital
She walked away as she as allowed to. She has a mental health issue, meaning she quite possibly was in crisis and not thinking at all clearly. The system let the murdered lady down and the murderer.
Just to clarify, murder is quite likely the wrong word in this context, i just was a bit suprised (amazed) that someone would assume that someone in a MH facility would automatically be in full reasonable functioning capacity.
I agree with you, awful all round and someones life was lost because yet again people in crisis are ignored
The Judge's summing up was quite odd - he didn't accept that her actions were due to any illness and said she was manipulative & determined (or something, I can't recall). A psychiatrist gave evidence that she has probably never been mentally ill and displayed "borderline personality disorder".
Now, I'm no expert - but for fucks sake. She was clearly extremely, extremely unwell. EVERYONE was let down that day, including her. I gather she's being sent to prison rather than hospital?
I may be wrong, so happy to be corrected.
I know it's completely different but I have a severely disabled child and I found just lately that unless you 'follow procedure' and complain accordingly via paperwork and legal documentation you are not listened to at all, in crisis or not. Someone in crisis cannot follow up paperwork or comply to a box ticking exercise
but as long as ss etc do, well that's fine, from what I have found (unless you have a very good social worker, which i do have now luckily)
YANBU Lougle and so many people seem to be ignoring this aspect of the story. It's an absolutely appalling tragedy, but she did try to get help and people ignored her... she may have walked away from the hospital, but she's not well and wasn't able to control her actions.
The Judge's summing up was quite odd
He seemed to be minimising the LA and Health professionals part/failings, in all of his statements and summing up.
I was glad that the News had straight after reporting his statement to Nicola,"you need to stop blaming others and not yourself", they had a family whose father was killed by "someone who shouldn't be on the streets" (their words).
Talkinpeace your point is ridiculous, whilst she had a stable enough mind to control her actions,she begged for help.
Her life has also been removed, she shouldn't be in prison for the length of sentence that she has been given, i hope it is challenged and she receives the treatment that she needs.
Just read bits from the IPCC investigation, the police missed several opportunities to prevent what happened.
Also the transcripts of her calls to 999 begging to be sectioned.
All very preventable IMO.
just can't wrap my head around the judges statement.
I have been in a position regarding pnd where one moment I was sane but on the edge and knowing I needed to get out of the situation and the next I couldn't work out how to achieve that or why I should. My DH heard the last thing I said sane and unlike the people in this case, rescued me.
You can only keep yourself safe up to a point. When the battle is lost you are different person with none of the same protocols or understanding of the situation.
Very sadly it's far from the first case of this kind. I heard a speaker at a patient safety conference once talk about the murder of his father, by a young man who had begged to be sectioned but was turned away. (Paranoid schizophrenic.) A woman in the audience admitted she was the person at her PCT responsible for the reports into these sort of cases - and that they normally sat on a shelf, changing nothing.
The judge sounds like an arse - and that's not unknown, either.
We need the shake up in Mental Health that we had in Child Protection after V Climbie and Baby P.
Adult care isn't an area that any goverment is willing to spend money on.
She will now cost more in the prison system that she would under the right treatment programme, as do many others.
It is scary how many prisoners have MH/SN/LD's and when their cases are examined, their outcomes could have been so much different.
very very sad for everyone involved
I was recently approached by a man begging me to call the police as he wanted to kill himself he pulled a razor blade out and had cuts all over his hands. I called an emergency mental health officer I know but was advised to call the police. He should have been sectioned. The man is well known to the police and will no doubt do the same again what he needs is to be looked after
Victims and perpetrator were failed.
However, I think their are lots of mildly unwell people who threaten to harm themselves or others to manipulate the system. The main red flag here should have been a basic search on the woman to see if she was a 'regular' which should have highlighted her previous conviction for murder (only reduced to manslaughter for diminished responsibility).
what is mildly unwell?
Yanbu, vulnerable adult and her victim failed by the system. It shouldn't have happened and the judge is passing the buck by blaming Nicola.
"In the hours before the murder, Edgington called emergency services four times asking for help, saying she was hearing voices again and that she was going to kill somebody."
"She was taken to two different hospitals, although she was able to walk out"
Not sure why the authorities should be blamed here.. she asked to be helped but then walked out.. twice!
YANBU and I too found the judge's summing up to be rather distasteful.
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
She is mentally ill squeaky. She asked for help and was ignored.
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?
It's just so sad on so many levels, for everyone concerned
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.
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.
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.
The timeline of events is available squeaky.
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.
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.
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
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.
IPCC commissioner Sarah Green said it was of 'great concern' that police did not carry out a PNC check
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.
police have no power to keep someone at hospital.
see above ^
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.
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.
Is it usual to check their name on the PNC Vicar? is that something tthat is routinely done?
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
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.
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.
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....
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.
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 .
oh hi plom....
snap. its fucking depressing isnt it?
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?
Wouldn't someone who has killed during psychosis previously be a priority though? or taken more seriously [as in her threats, not how the police would respond]
I sympathise Vicar and Plom, and I understand that there is only so much you can do, and that is must be frustrating. What I cant understand though is that surely someone who has killed before should be a priority and the police should be able to have her detained against her will if she has made such a threat to kill again.
but police cannot section someone! thats down to the psyche on call!
in my experience they never admit anyone - no word of a lie - everyone i have gone in with has been "assessed" and released.
they can be barking fucking mad. sorry to be blunt - but its true. i took a woman who thought she was Eve....as in adam and eve.
guess what happened to her then?
guess what i got called to the next day....and she was at home. could not detain her then. no power under 136 to detain if not in a public place.
it is very hard to get someone sectioned the have to really be a risk to harming themselves and/or others
The issue is lack of funds, the police being given work that trained mental health professionals should dealing with so these people get the help they need not just taken off the streets for a few hours
That's scary when you put it like that Plom and Vicar.
I had to call the police one night when ds was in the middle of a psychotic phase - he was waving knives around and threatening to kill himself and us. Their answer was that until he actually hurt someone there was nothing they could do.
Another night they kept him in a cell all night for similar reasons and he nearly killed himself by hitting his head off the door .
Treatment for mh issues should start a hell of a lot earlier than the stage at which police intervention and sectioning is needed. The trouble is, it tends to get ignored when it is controlled (to save the Health Service money) and only dealt with when it is too late.
you cannot violate someones human rights just because they have committed crime in the past.
can you imagine the headlines then?!
police cannot win.
Oh, and there was no hope of getting him sectioned either time as apparently it's impossible to get two doctors at night here and they need two doctors to section [baffled]
Im not saying human rights should be violated because of her past crime, but her threats could have been taken more seriously had they been aware of her past?
"you cannot violate someones human rights just because they have committed crime in the past"
but that is ridiculous when the person is threatening to do it again (and clearly a very real threat if they have previous for it), the general public seem to have no human rights to be safer on the street..
I cant see how the headlines would be in this type of example, because if that person has made the threats, then surely holding them would be the best course of action, it isnt as if they were just being hauled in off the streets because they looked as if they might be a danger, this woman was a danger and should have been taken more seriously immediately..
I am not blaming the authorities, specifically the people who were involved as it is clear the law ties their hands. The law needs to be reassessed due to the fact that it seems many people are released far too early into the community when it is clear that they are still very unwell.
this just makes me laugh. blame the very people who probably tried to get her treated, who took her to hospital in the first place.
WTF does anyone think police could have done differently? no custody sgt will take a mentally ill person - they tell you to take them to hospital.
you do that
they walk out or they get released after hours of you standing about trying to make small talk, withholding the need to pee and forgoing your meal. a psyche will come in. asses them. release them.
you bash your head against the imaginary wall and count down for the next call which you know is coming...
this is the reality that no one sees, or hears. they just see the end result when it all goes tits up and the blame game starts.
I appreciate all of that Vicar, I can imagine how incredibly frustrating that must be.
Do you think then that in this case nothing could have been done differently?
squeaky seriously - we get threats made all the time. One bloke who threatened to stab me initially ended up hugging me and calling me 'baby'....called ambulance. called crisis team.
guess what happened....
do we just arrest everyone who says "im gonna fucking kill you....."?
who says "im gonna fucking stab someone"....
because that would be most people we deal with then. seriously. we do not deal with "most people" - we deal with the same people over and over and over and i would say 90% of them have mental health issues that never ever get treated despite all our efforts.
The one point I am trying to say is, she wasnt just threatening, she had a previous conviction for killing someone. Surely that would put her into a different category from the usual threats made by people who have never actually carried their threats out??
And honestly, I am not having a go at you personally. As I have said, I really do sympathise that your hands are tied, your resources are over stretched, and you are simply doing what you are legally required to do.
This stands out to me in that news report
She was taken to two different hospitals, although she was able to walk out
why is it that police always get blamed! what do they think we could have done in this case??
it matters not that she had committed crime before - she would still have been allowed to walk out of hospital unless the security stopped her or the psyche assessed her and sectioned her.
you cannot detain anyone for past crimes. you have to deal with what you see at that time - at that time officers clearly felt she was ill and needed treatment so they took her to hospital.
we are not obliged to sit with patients who are committed to the care of the NHS - but we do anyway. more often than not we are there for hours and hours and hours.
there is an agenda here.
shame the police ballot for industrial action didnt go through. decimate the police service, cut pay, cut numbers, stretch people to breaking point and then wonder why it goes tits up? really.
im looking and actively applying for other jobs. jobs in admin, jobs in offices, jobs that wont kill me - nothing is worth the dangers we face daily and the shit we put up with.
anyone in the police for the right reasons will be following suite i reckon. i have never seen a more dejected and pissed off bunch of people in my life - and your lives are in our hands! its a joke.
To be fair, this is in all the reports:
While our investigation found that no police officers or staff breached the code of conduct, it is of great concern that no Police National Computer check was carried out which would have immediately alerted them to Edgingtons violent history.
If that had happened, would the police then have had the power to detain her?
It said they missed an opportunity to have her sectioned.
The two officers attempted to leave Edgington in the care of the hospital staff but she followed them outside and had to be escorted back inside
At this point, the pair missed an opportunity to have her sectioned under the mental health act, the watchdog said
How realistic an opportunity that was I don't know.
If they had tried, would it have happened?
The trouble here ,is that everyone blames the officers ( yet again) but in reality the root cause of the problem is cold hard cash . There's not enough money for beds , and every bed will have a queue of people waiting for it . Clinical staff as in every dept of the NHS are under huge amounts of pressure to get patients discharged as quickly as possible , to get the next patient in . So they try treating the mentally ill as outpatients, in hostels ( we have 3 on our borough run by charities ) , with visits from CPNs and daily medication . Which is fine , but then once it kicks in , and people feel better, they stop taking it . And then , when the patient has an episode , and starts throwing their furniture out of the window at 3am , police get called . But they're in their own home , which means you can't use section 136 because it only applies in a public place . So it comes down to our powers of persuasion , getting them to go in voluntarily . And then , once there , a hospital counts as a place of safety under the MHA , so sectioning her under 136 doesn't work there either. So then police have no powers at that point to stop her leaving . Only if she physically leaves , and AT THAT point the officer fears she is going to cause harm to herself or others , can section 136 be applied . Not to stop her when she appears calm and says she's going out for a cigarette and then doesn't come back . It's a difficult judgement call to make , and one that is easy to criticise in hindsight .
We hear the same threats made to us every day . By the mentally ill , by those who are not mentally ill . Over and over and over . I'm not defending it in any way, but it's easy to see how this happened .
i dont believe so squeaky - you have to be so bloody careful with regard to violating someones human rights - intel can inform the situation but you still cannot detain someone on past history.
i dont believe that anything would have been done differently in all honesty.
how many times has this happened now? care in the bloody community does not work.
but we just turf people back out there and forget about them until the shit hits the fan and then what?
oh yes. blame the police.
as i type this i am agitated, pissed off and sick to death of this bloody shitty job. the dream career. what a bloody joke and a crushing crushing disappointment it all is to find out what the reality is. 7 series of tests, maths, english, role plays. verbal reasoning tests and fitness tests....if only i had known.
while ive been off sick i have been working for nothing at a riding school. i would rather do that any day of the week than go back to work. im feverishly looking for anything locally that will allow me to tell the job to stuff it.
and this just highlights exactly why.
I havent blamed the officers, and nor has anyone else on the thread as far as I can see. Everyone is blaming the law though. Officers dont make those laws and we all appreciate that too.
And you may all hear these threats daily, but surely not by someone who has already murdered another person!
"how many times has this happened now? care in the bloody community does not work"
I completely agree. I live in an area which until recent times had 7 mental institutes. It now has one and that is facing closure.
The residents did not just disappear, many were left to fend for themselves as they were released.
I'm not allowed to discuss PNC , but on its own , no it wouldn't have made much difference . And no , it wouldn't have conferred any additional power to detain.
im not saying anyone specifically is blaming officers - but clearly from that news report the implication is that officers were to blame.
and truthfully squaky murderers are not a breed apart - they are out there among you all - you would never know. Threats are just that - when you deal with threats to kill day in day out it starts to carry less significance, no matter who says it.
murders happen daily. you might not read about them in the headlines - but they happen more often than anyone realises.
im going to bow out of this now as i can literally feel my blood pressure rising.....its 1am. im seeing gp in the morning. This for me is a timely reminder of why im not at work and feverishly scanning my email daily for the hint of an interview for anything else.
policing - its not for me. i care far too much and i take it far too personally.
Squeaky , we talk to murderers every day . The ones in bail hostels, the ones living among the community that are under hospital orders , the ones that escape from so called secure units , the ones that have 'done their time' . There are so so many more out there than people know. I'm not trying to frighten anyone , but there are plenty of people amongst the community who have killed , and yet have been released .
It's not right , but there it is .
good night plom
I have no doubt that there are. I know a handful of people myself, not closely, but well enough to have a "hi, hows it going" sort of conversation with if I see them in the pub.
It just seems to me, and I am sure many others who dont have the inside knowledge of the system, that in some way procedure either failed, or is currently inadequate and that led to this woman being able to kill an innocent member of the public who was simply walking down the road minding her own business.
Tomorrow is another day. Take a deep breath and keep on swimming . Hope you feel better soon mate .
It is inadequate squeaky , I wholly agree . But the problem is NEVER going to be solved . I genuinely think that mental health is viewed as the poor relation of the NHS . Sometimes it's not curable , and investment goes into other departments . Secure units are becoming fewer and fewer, there aren't enough beds , and more and more people , who should be under a proper hospital section, are released either to be treated in the community , which works for a while , or are released because there is no treatment , and you cannot incarcerate someone permanently for having an uncurable personality disorder. Then , it goes wrong , some innocent person gets killed and there has to be someone to blame . Whether that's the hospital staff , police , or local authority .
I started this thread then went to bed, sorry.
I don't blame police officers, they are working within a system and have to comply with its restraints.
I don't blame hospital staff, I was a nurse and know that medical staff are, most of the time, staving off crisis-point rather than giving optimal care.
However, it's a crying shame when someone says "I need to be sectioned. The last time I felt like this I killed someone. I think I'm going to kill again", that nothing can be done to protect the public and save the perpetrator from herself.
We say 'you can't detain someone because they might do something', but actually you can, if the laws allow it.
For instance, a drunk person would be arrested if they were in charge of a motor vehicle. They don't have to be behind the wheel, nor with the engine on. It's the law.
Someone who has been highly antisocial can have constraints put on them to prevent further antisocial behaviour.
Someone who had been convicted of offences toward or involving children can be prevented from working with them.
There should be something in place which takes a person who fears they will kill as they have killed before in similar times, to a place of safety for evaluation.
The biggest tragedy was that an indefinite sentence lasted just 3 years. She would have been detained longer if found guilty of murder and I can't help thinking that's why the judge found as he did. He knew that if he accepted diminished responsibility she'd be out to do it all again in 3 years.
Rinse and repeat
I'm not blaming police officers at all in any.
The serious issues here, which pose a risk to me, to you, to police, to joe bloggs on the street is a dangerously underfunded MH system. This is unacceptable, people in crisis should not be waiting 6 hrs for assessment and how anybody can say "yeah but she walked out" is her fault, sheesh!
Mental health services seriously need looking at or are we to just wait for another murder? Who'll be next? police? child? it shows massive disrespect to the victim too
I don't blame the police. Somebody, somewhere should have checked a computer, we all know that much. However, it is known that all social workers/CPNs etc will do everything they can not to section someone or even provide a voluntary bed unless they absolutely have to. Beds are hard to come by these days. In my area, providing a bed can be anywhere within a 100 mile radius these days. It used to be a maximum of ten, but the government started closing things and not replacing nurses, social workers and CPNs who retired, they offered some early retirement. Our local 20 bed unit only has staff for six.
IME MH services were pretty threadbare 15yrs ago. I was not dangerous like this woman but was severely depressed and becoming suicidal. I asked my GP for counselling and more support for weeks and all I got was tablets. Following my first overdose I briefly saw a psychiatrist who had the nerve to delicately suggest I needed to speak to someone, as soon as I said I'd been asking for weeks the mood changed and they weren't as interested. Took 2 more overdoses that summer before I was given a trainee counsellor. Looking back I really don't know how I survived that year.
Funnily enough my sister now works in mental health and she's bloody raging at the revolving door system these days. She struggled for a long time and nearly left but she's decided to stick with it and is just getting arsier and louder with the powers that be when things start to fall apart at the seams.
She left. They can't keep everyone in hospital who wants to leave. That would be a violation of their human rights.
Which is why she needed sectioning.
A and E is not the place for someone like this.
i blame the government.
she was in a secure hosptial due to her schizophrenia for 4 years after killing her mother
then put in the care of the community.
but now, she is sent to jail, for murder, what is the difference, is she not schizophrenic any more?
This is an interesting POV on what's happening. It's very worrying, I have 1st hand experience of the results of someone with a long history of schizophrenia requesting to be sectioned at the hospital being turned away despite the police taking him there and really wanting him kept there. He came home and cut his mothers throat (she was a teacher) and then his own in the front garden just 50 yards away from our kids school. I could see that could have played out even worse if he had decided in his psychosis that all teachers needed to die.
It's an eye opener.
She could of voluntarily be taken into a psychiatric unit though without being sectioned couldn't she? it sounds that's what she was asking but nothing was available (or have I completely misunderstood) My BIL has had several breakdowns and has never had to be sectioned as he has always agreed to go (he has delusions and completely body shut down type epidsodes)
Jack Straw signed the form to let her out after 3 years of an indefinite sentence originally. He will sleep well at night as someone else is getting the blame so that is alright.
I was very ill in the summer, no-one listened to me because i had a Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis (now i've been told i have only 'some traits' of BPD, as many people do).
I was actually in the middle of a Psychotic episode - now the Psychiatrist is trying to decide on a proper diagnosis & i'm taking Anti-Psychotic medication which is working very well.
It took months before i got given the right medication.
I actually wanted to stab myself, i was paranoid & delusional & smashed up my kitchen then broke the knife in half so i couldn't stab myself. My sister called the police who were lovely - but the CMHT took hours to come & wouldn't section me despite the police's request.
I'm still a bit unwell now but recovering. I still get intensely angry over things so i know i'm not better yet - luckily i now have a CCO (psychiatric nurse) who i see regularly.
YANBU. The crime in the OP was terrible but i can see exactly how it happened.
just an awful awful tale
it must be horrible to be a murderous schizophrenic, well obviously! silly comment
but yanbu, everyone is fucked
her family are
the families of her victims
she should not have been released
Should psych have access to the PNC?
Judge's summing up was strange.
no doubt jack straw signed the release due to psychiatrist's advice, probably due to needing the bed in the secure unit.
YANBU. It's appalling and tragic for all involved; Sally Hodkin and her family of course, but also a desperately ill woman who was aware of her own predicament.
The summing up is a classic example of dusty old judges who ought to be forcibly retired.
I think the judge was trying to avoid another indefinite sentence which would be terminated at 3 years again resulting in another death further down the line. He was playing the system, The law and the MH system is broken, and there there is no political will to do anything about it.
Hmmm, having some experience of both these conditions (schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder) there is a big difference.
When someone with schizophrenia kills they do it out of a genuine fear for themselves or their family. The illness makes them paranoid and terrified and they honestly believe that the person they harm is some kind of threat. The pitch of fear and illness that drives people with schizophrenia to commit these crimes is hard to describe it's so extreme.
Borderline personality disorder is a different kettle of fish, and yes it sometimes make the sufferer extremely manipulative. Rather than being genuinely terrified and not in their right mind it can be a totally conscious decision to kill someone. For example if the sufferer decides that what they want right now is to be sectioned they can be capable of deciding 'Right, well if I attack somebody they'll HAVE to section me'. And then go right ahead and do it purely because it will get what they want.
It seems like the fact that she essentially 'got away with' the first murder was a result of that manipulativeness too. She knew what she should say to get away with it and managed to con psychiatrists into thinking that she was suffering from a condition she wasn't.
Many, many murderers suffer from some kind of personality disorders, it doesn't make them less culpable. Jimmy Savile, Fred West, Denis Nilsen, all candidates for a serious personality disorder. Borderline personality disorder doesn't stop the sufferer from knowing right from wrong or distort their thinking to an extent that they are incapable of knowing what it is anymore. It's just that sometimes some sufferers don't care what's right or wrong, only about what they want.
I do think that the system failed everybody in this case. But I think that 'sympathy' is a bit of a strong word for Edgington. She consciously decided to commit these acts, she wasn't driven by an illness.
I do understand the judges summing up, she manipulated her way out of one murder charge and the second murder just seems like another part of a big manipulative plan.
Did JS murder people too?
her defence said she had schizophrenia while the prosecution said boarderline personality disorder
presumbly from two separate psychiatrists.
Fromparistoberlin. Of course she shouldn't have been released. But it's not that simple. She managed to con people within the MH system and the courts into believing she was suffering schizophrenia.
To a certain extent in MH care the people caring for the patient are dependent on what the patient is telling them because it's all going on in their head. It's not like a rash or a tumour you can see.
She convinced the people caring for her that she was schizophrenic then convinced them that she was cured, or that her condition was being effectively managed. Which was presumably easy when she had never suffered from it in the first place.
She was being treated for schizophrenia, she managed to convince people that this was no longer a problem - how could they keep holding her when she wasn't apparently ill any longer? The BPD was undiagnosed and the schizophrenia was apparently under control.
When you have someone who is skilled at manipulating to this level I think it would be very, very hard for normal health professionals to realise what's going on.
No LadyPessary. Perhaps I should have said serious criminal instead.
Youfhearted, the court found that the prosecutions case was true.
But Bridget, as others have pointed out, if the court had found she was suffering from schizophrenia, then she would have been out in 3 years. So perhaps accepting the BPD diagnosis was expedient more than anything else.
I had no idea that the system was failing MH patients so badly. This thread is a real eye opener
I thin this is an interesting read from police perspective.
thanks for posting that snowy, that was a very balanced and interesting read people should read to establish the full facts surrounding what the officers on that day did and didnt do.
i do not routinely pnc check everyone i come into contact with. maybe i should start but then the need to justify them increases. within our force using the radio is discouraged to save money and we rely heavily on other devices which can often fail.
Hmm Bridget, I think your comments about BPD are a little offensive! I same old stereotypes about how 'they're manipulative, they're attention seeking, they only care about what they want'. I have lots of personal and professional experience with working with patients with PD and the way they are spoken about and treated is appalling. They are the most discriminated patient group in mh services by a country mile, and comments like yours, and the judges in this case, only serve to reinforce these ignorant attitudes.
Obviously BPD is a v different illness to schizophrenia but they do have psychotic episodes, hence the term 'borderline' as they were supposed to be on the line between psychotic and neurotic and show traits of both.
Just because she had BPD doesn't mean she wasn't genuinely having a psychotic episode and was therefore not responsible for her actions. People with BPD ( and there are several mnetters with this dx) have enough shame and self-hatred as it is without comments like yours adding to the negativity and stigma.
Thanks snowy that was a really good analysis of what happened. I hate the fact that the police are blamed for everything in the media when they are just the last port of call when every other agency has failed.
I agree with that JaceyBee.
The implication is that BPD is a choice
JaceyBee, thanks for that explanation of why BPD is called that. I've often wondered.
i do not routinely pnc check everyone i come into contact with. maybe i should start but then the need to justify them increases. within our force using the radio is discouraged to save money and we rely heavily on other devices which can often fail.
It's outrageous that cost should be a factor in checking on people's background.
That blog post is interesting.
yet more incompetence and pathetic excuses from those in 'authority' who should be doing their jobs.
and yet it will keep happening, they never seem to learn.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
to vicar and plum. It's always interesting to hear your views.
plom and my posts echoed each others so very closely and yet we were writing them at almost the same time....it is a vicious circle and a very sad one, and one faced by police and NHS not to mention all other partner agencies up and down the country.
today i looked at applying for another job within council services for the youth offending service....thought it would be a good move and not such a huge leap from the police to that....bear with me - there is a point to this.....
so i rang up and enquired about it. It was a full time position, looked good. Untill i was basically told that now funding for youths who are remanded in custody has to come from council budgets thanks to a change in legislation recently, so that the role was basically to argue a case for the council to prevent young offenders being remanded in custody. To argue that the risks could be managed within the community.
so now i see why some of our more 'delightful' young offenders can, for example, seriously assault an elderly gent with rocks, hospitalising him with serious injuries, and still be out wandering the streets to cause more mayhem mere days later while awaiting sentence.
it seemed the polar opposite of what i do now. But just as frustrating no doubt. in the end i didnt bother applying.
everything is coming down to ££££££. it doesnt seem to matter whats at stake.
JaceyBee, thanks for clear explanation.
It really gets my goat when people try to draw a line between 'manipulative', mentally ill people and 'normal' people. If we define 'manipulative' as 'behaving in a specific way to get what you want', I have never met a 'normal' person who was not manipulative attention-seeker. Even naice people.
Surely the difference is that 'normal' people have learnt socially acceptable ways of manipulating people to get the attention we all so sorely need (reciprocal relationships; a bit of give and take) that 'abnormal' people, through illness or bad luck, haven't had chance to learn?
Two things happen then, which make the situation worse. The first thing is that 'abnormal' people behave oddly, so 'normal' people are even less inclined to be warm towards them - which exacerbates the odd behaviour. The second is that the 'abnormal' person doesn't get 'fed' in the way that we get 'fed', a zillion times a day - by the returned smile, the 'how are you', etc etc. So the need for attention - and hence the odd behaviour - grows.
MH is about relationships, not 'normal' people vs. 'abnormal' people.
That's not the same as saying no one is responsible for their actions.
I think this makes sense.
I have been under the care of MH services for years.
I'm unsure why this woman was taken to a regular A&E for assessment, I have always been taken directly to a MH hospital when very ill. Is it because so many units have been closed?
I have met many people with lots of different MH conditions over the years through my treatment. Many of them have incredibly tragic stories of abuse, broken relationships and really blighted lives. Lots of them have been taken advantage of as well.
It's only called borderline personality disorder in the DSM TheCat, in the ICD they call it 'emotionally unstable personality disorder' which is a bit more what it says on the tin, although no less pejorative!
Pestkontrol your point about manipulation is spot on, couldn't have put it better myself. Of course we all manipulate people to get what we want! We'd be fairly screwed if we couldn't! To me, when used in those terms it smacks of 'faking it' which is utter bullshit.
Reading through this thread and the blog that was linked earlier has touched me.
I don't have much to add to the debate despite agreeing that there are some huge issues here that boil down (it seems) to budgets, culture and responsibility, unfortunately I don't see any solution in the mess presented.
I would like to say though, that the police who have commented here and on the blog have struck me as incredibly caring people. Frustrated, worn down and angry, but always at the heart of their comments is a genuine concern (bordering on despair) for the people with MH issues that they are dealing with.
The frustration is palpable, but the pure humanity is commendable. If nothing else can be taken away from your careers that is something that you should all take pride in.
I entirely agree with Iamsparkly I feel very privileged to get 'your side of the story'. It's so enlightening (and vicar, I really hope you find your 'home' very soon)
I will say again that when i was very ill - the policemen who came to my house were very caring & helpful, I was scared when i knew they were outside but they had a lot of empathy & that reassured me a lot.
My sister's a nurse in a MH trust. She's had patients attack people because they know perfectly well it's the only way to get back into the system. A patient attacked her for that reason, leaving her with permanent hearing loss. It's frightening. Some patients are manipulative but good grief, it's a ludicrous system where someone has to be manipulative in order to be taken to a place of safety when they are at risk of harming themselves or others - that's what sectioning is for, fgs!
(On a happier note, a psychiatrist once recounted the story of a patient who would probably qualify as manipulative - when an innocent young GP was called out to section the patient, he turned up in a flash BMW and parked it at the bottom of this patient's block of flats, in a not-very-desirable area. Patient threatened the GP, got hold of his car keys, jumped out of the window and drove off in the flash car!)
Thanks for comments to clarify BDP. Was really shocked and haunted by Judge's words. Really glad of this thread.
I think that the reason i didn't get the help i needed for my mental illness for months was because i'm not a manipulative person ironically!
Ha love it.
But honestly we can't fill our beds with everyone who says they will harm themselves or others. There just isn't enough beds. But scarily if you walked around a psych ward you'd equally know half the patients don't actually need to be there, they just know which buttons to press to get themselves a bed.
The difference here obviously is she killed before, and 6 yrs that doesn't seem long at all and probably but time the trial went through, then it would have been more like 5. 5 or 6 yrs doesn't seem like a long time to treat someone and rehabilitate them following somerhing so serious as killing your own mother, and her poor poor mother, to be killed by your own child is awful.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
the system failed the victim not the murderer.
I think there's a difference between having an understanding of the fact that it is often mental illness that drives people to kill other people. In fact I think it can be assumed that on the whole, murderers are not of sound mind, and having sympathy for said murderers. Harold Shipman, foor instance, was well documented as having a personality disorder and adiction issues, yet I don't see anyone having sympathy for the fact he murdered 300 plus of his patients, or Fred West for having murdered however many people he did, or Ian Brady for murdering the children he did, or Peter Sutcliffe... Having asked for help doesn't negate the fact she consciously went on to kill someone - in cold blood - purely because she could.
She should never have been released in the first place, and IMO should never be released again.
Yes the system failed, but I do not have sympathy for someone who can tell the authorities she is going to kill someone and then goes out and does it.
The system was in the wrong for not having prevented a murder, but the fact the murder happened was still the responsibility of the murderer.
TheSecondComing i hope your friend gets better; those suicidal thoughts do go eventually or lessen, at least.
I was told that the only person stopping me from killing myself was me - that's how helpful the CMHT were.
Now i'm only getting those feelings occasionally, hopefully your friend will start to recover at some point too.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I'm sure I detect a distinct lack of both empathy and sympathy.
Haven't I seen somewhere that you are a mental health nurse?
Haven't I stated before that I hope you are not one of dh's nurses?
wannabe perhaps I'm odd, but I do have sympathy for all those people. The human condition shows through the awful story and I always think 'they were babies once, what happened to them?' Even Adolf Hitler. All of these cases are abhorrent, but actually, when I look at the person...there has to be something seriously wrong somewhere that you could take a person's life deliberately.
I studied the Harold Shipman case for a project at Uni. It's quite unbelievable that he did what he did, how he did.
I still feel that if a woman phones 999 and says 'I feel dangerous, the last time I felt this way I killed someone.' that is a clue that, in fact, she had previously killed someone and further checks should have been done, somewhere.
What has happened to policing is tragic and indefensible in my opinion. It is not the fault of individual police officers. It is the constraints of funding. The bankers still get their bonuses, though, don't they?
Lack of empathy? Why? Because I said half the patients don't actually need to be there? That's because if the community team are doing their jobs properly most illnesses can be managed successfully as out patients. It seems the community team failed in this particular case. She should have had numbers for crisis team etc, did she use them? I would have thought that was important to this case, or did she fully intend to murder and wanted to give the police the run around? We'll probably never know.
Has your DH murdered someone? If not, then I don't see why you are using your DH to make a point. I feel sorry for him if you bring him in to it just because he has mental health issues.
Empathy is a whole new debate anyway. Does it really exist?
Yes empathy definitely exists.
It does for me anyway.
No dear, my dh has not murdered anybody. He does get DLA though, he has self harmed in the past. I was referring to your comments on not being particularly ill and trying to manipulate the system for attention of DLA.
dawn some patients get admitted on the grounds of "if you don't admit me I'll kill myself" etc. Sad but true. For DLA.
A lot of people get DLA who don't need it, and a lot of people don't get DLA who do. Probably more the latter.
Amber we can try to be empathic, I have been both patient and nurse. But just because I have been a patient I wouldn't be so arrogant as to say I can empathise. Everyone is different. I don't believe true empathy can exist. 2 people can go through exactly the same thing and will never feel exactly the same.
Yes but empathising means you at least try. Its not about feeling the exact same thing.
If someone is suicidal why the hell shouldn't they be admitted though?!
Amber I did find this about empathy:-
Lack of empathy is one of the most striking features of people with narcissistic personality disorder. It's a hallmark of the disorder in the same way that fear of abandonment is in borderline personality disorder.
I find it worrying that someone working in MH should think empathy doesn't exist.
Being suicidal doesn't automatically mean you get admitted.
A lot of suicidal people are managed well in the community.
I don't know what the community care is like in your trust but it sounds like you don't have any faith in them.
Empathy is not about 'at least trying'.
It's about putting yourself in their shoes and thinking about what might help them. But unless you have walked in their shoes then you can never have true empathy. Most people think they have empathy when really they have sympathy. Whilst being compassionate is paramount, sympathy isn't always the best way forward.
I didn't spend my life at uni, working nights, weekends, earlys, lates, missing Xmas with my kids just for someone to make out I am not good at my job just because I don't patronise patients and pretend I have a clue what they are going through.
I treat them like individuals, not make assumptions about what they are thinking/feeling.
Lack of empathy is also prevalent in psychopaths and ASD (to name the obvious) and loads of other conditions. What is your problem with personality disorder?
I just cant belive somone walked into A&E said i have killed before i hearing voices and may kill again and they did what just let her walk out un bloodly belivable
If you cant get some one to save you from your self then i give up she even called police on herself in her despration
Is that what she said? That is bad. But who did she say it to? The person on reception or the oncall psych?
The people at reception and also again when she called the police she got frustrated that no one in the hospital was pay any notice to her if t hey just checked her blinking name
It took the police two minutes to check who i was when they pulled me over thinking i was a black man under my base ball cap last night at the pertol sataion so why couldnt they check i wouldnt of thought most people ring up and say i killed i might kill again please keep me locked up ffs
You'd be surprised what people say when they ring 999 or to hospital receptionists. But yes I'd have thought it was a good indication of psychosis.
But a hospital receptionist or indeed security can't hold someone.
The police could have though but I think they were sent away.
Lack of empathy is also prevalent in psychopaths and ASD (to name the obvious) and loads of other conditions
That is not strictly true. [the ASD part]
There isn't just one type of empathy, people with ASD tend to lack cognitive empathy, but not emotional empathy, but there is a lot more to it than that which Im sure you know.
It's about putting yourself in their shoes and thinking about what might help them
That's one aspect of it yes, but again, a lot more to it than that.
Most people think they have empathy when really they have sympathy
Well I know the difference between the two.
Lack of empathy is also prevalent in psychopaths and ASD (to name the obvious)
That may well be the case with psychopaths. The latest research (Baron Cohen, Digby et al) demonstrates that in fact the opposite is frequently true.
It is possible for stressful situations to bring on 'breakthrough' psychotic symptoms which is what i'm finding at the moment... i'm unsure whether to call my CCO or not because maybe i need my meds increasing.
Can i just say that i would never harm anyone else though just because i have this problem.
I assume she was not sectioned at that point and therefore was free to go....no one is to blame...this was a very regrettable and VERY unusual case.
Why not give your CCO a call to check?
I know i should call my CCO but i get embarrassed; but i will call her.
Hope you get it sorted and are feeling a bit better soon.
What I can't understand is how the judge called her actions 'selfish' ! Even in her mentally confused state she was trying to protect other people.
Latara don't be embarrassed. I hope you found the strength to make the call and have got some additional support.
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I think the victim was failed more than the murderer was in all honesty. But yes the murderer was failed too.
LadyPam Amber one of the least empathic people I have ever met, ,truly an unpleasant piece of work, is a fairly senior mental health professional with the authority to section people. My blood ran cold the moment the person said "if I had my way I'd have all the fucking nutters shot". I haven't seen them since.
Manipulative is a typical perjorative used about patients for various reasons.
In my experience as a RMN, a patient is most likely to be labelled as manipulative when a health or other professional lacks the skills to work with them and does not understand the mechanics of a personality disorder and the way it impacts upon functioning. They fail in their interactions with them and then project the feelings it engenders back onto the patient....
I have great sympathy for everyone affected by this awful, preventable tragedy.
I had dealings with her during the original murder investigation of her mother. A scary young woman. After that experience i cannot believe she was free to murder someone else. She should never have been released from secure accomodation
BexleyFemale777 is the only one to be worried about the bosses of Oxleas Trust.
Read the stories here
The local newspapers have been voicing concerns for some time
This is a zombie thread.
Sometimes zombie threads can be very interesting and have a continuation
Of course they can, it's just sometimes people don't notice so it's worth seeing it pop up in ThreadsImOn. Or that was my thinking, I've always found it helpful when other people do it.
We have to wait for some zombies to sort out the big bosses of Oxleas. Or are they the zombies responsible for the deaths of so many people they are supposed to care for?
Another local newspaper reporting on Oxleas Trust
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