‘Low-risk’ patient was killed by train

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

A mother who was killed when she stood in front of an express train was said to be at ‘low risk’ of self harm when she was given home leave from a Doncaster mental hospital.

Patricia Shaw’s partner Tom Woodhouse had previously told staff at St Catherine’s Hospital that she was not fit enough to come home, a Doncaster inquest heard.

Mrs Shaw, aged 58, of Amberley Rise, Skellow, had a history of mental illness dating from 1998 and had made previous attempts to gas herself with car exhaust fumes.

She had also stabbed herself in the chest. The court heard in the past year she had been going on spending sprees and eating excessively while on anti-psychotic medication.

She died instantly on January 11 when she stepped off the end of the platform at Adwick railway station into the path of a London to Leeds train travelling at 100mph.

Mrs Shaw had left the home of her daughter, Lindsay Lankford, without telling anyone and was reported missing because of her family’s fears about her mental state.

Mrs Lankford said her mum was ‘very quiet and withdrawn’ that day.

Psychiatrists at St Catherine’s allowed Mrs Shaw home on January 9 because she told them she felt better, the court heard.

Mr Woodhouse said Mrs Shaw was ‘covering up’ her condition to avoid further hospitalisation.

Dr Eric Dale said: “It’s very difficult to second guess these things.

“At the time I thought there was no risk.”

Consultant Dr Shaharyara Alikhan, said there was no suggestion Mrs Shaw had acute suicidal inclinations and he classed her risk as ‘low’.

Assistant coroner Geoffrey Saul recorded a narrative verdict, saying she died “from multiple injuries following an impact with a train.

He added: “She took her own life. Two days earlier, while an informal patient, she had been granted a week’s leave following an assessment that she was at low risk of self-harm.”

Mrs Shaw’s family declined to make any futher comment.

A spokesman for Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust said: “The Trust has organised to share its full report with Mrs Shaw’s family in the near future at a time that is convenient for them.

“The family has also been given the opportunity to speak to the medical director, Dr Nav Ahluwalia, if they have any further questions.”

Doncaster Samaritans can be contacted on 01302 327474.