Grieving parents call for
Pepper spray prank Inquest finds 22-year-old woman was failed by service
FORTY people were treated by paramedics after pepper spray was released inside a nightclub.
Revellers complained of shortness of breath and stinging eyes following the incident at Cameo in Bournemouth in the early hours of yesterday, Dorset Police said.
One person was taken to hospital as a precaution.
Officers were called to the club in Fir Vale Road at 2am and management evacuated the venue, which was filled with up to 2,200 clubbers on the night, Cameo said.
Cameo posted a statement on Facebook which read: “Last night there was an incident in the main room at the club where a small canister of pepper spray was set off on the dance floor.
“This was a silly, pointless act and we hope those of our customers who were caught up in it are feeling better today and are now fully recovered.” RACHEL Tasker’s parents always thought their daughter was failed by mental health services – now they know for sure.
The 22-year-old was found dead in a Newcastle hotel room on October 1.
She had been missing for two days before her body was discovered.
Ms Tasker had been sectioned in March 2016 and she died while on leave from the London hospital ward she’d been living on.
An inquest into her death ruled she was failed by mental health services. Her parents – both doctors – are now calling for change.
Her father, Chris Tasker, said: “The inquest only covered the last six months of Rachel’s life, but her problems started a long time ago.
“The services that are out there for young people need to be much, much
better. I haven’t got all of the answers, but I think some young people with problems like Rachel will do badly because the services aren’t up to scratch.”
In March 2016, Ms Tasker was living in London with a family member, but she had started taking illicit substances and psychosis had set in.
She was detained under section three of the Mental Health Act and put in a South London and Maudsley Trust (SLAM) hospital.
Doctors concluded her vulnerable state might put her in harm’s way but she was not identified as being a “deliberate” risk to herself.
Ms Tasker felt well enough to live independently but a spell living in supported accommodation didn’t work out and she returned to the hospital in August 2016, a situation she found “increasingly distressing”.
Not long after returning to the ward, she was granted leave to return to Newcastle to stay with her parents.
A “care plan” was drawn up for her period of absence and she was driven home by her dad.
On September 22, Ms Tasker was discovered unconscious in her bedroom at her parents’ home after taking an overdose.
Staff at the Royal Victoria Infirmary helped her pull through and her mum told doctors in London what had happened. But Ms Tasker went missing on September 29, triggering a police search. On October 1, her body was found in a city centre hotel. She had taken an overdose and left notes. “We miss her, we love her”, Mr Tasker said after the inquest. “She had a very hard life, but the real Rachel is a lovely young lady who never really got the chance to become an adult.” Ms Tasker was born and raised in Jesmond, attended Church High School and Gosforth Academy, and from an early age was bright and artistic. “She was a creative young woman who loved learning new languages, loved music, loved drawing comics and making videos,” her dad recalled. As the child of two GPs in one of the city’s most affluent suburbs, her life might have looked picture perfect from the outside. But early in her teens Ms Tasker battled mental health issues, including anxiety and eating disorders. Her family said she didn’t want to leave
Chris Tasker with his daughter Rachel; right, Rachel through the years