Heart­break­ing Fam­ily’s trib­utes to mum found dead de­spite calls for help

Bristol Post - - NEWS -


Days be­fore Julie was found in the lake, she was be­lieved to have tried to take her own life on the the M5 near Taun­ton.

The loss has hit the fam­ily hard over the last seven months.

Julie grew up in Headley Park in south Bris­tol, where she went to Bed­min­ster Down School.

Af­ter fin­ish­ing school, she worked in in­sur­ance be­fore hav­ing her two chil­dren, Alex and Re­becca.

When Re­becca was eight, Julie sep­a­rated from her part­ner and brought up her two chil­dren sin­gle­hand­edly.

“She would do any­thing for any­one, be­fore do­ing it for her­self. She looked af­ter us for six years on her own, and worked for a lot of it as well. She al­ways put my brother and me ahead of her­self,” Re­becca said.

“Mum tried to make it so it was as nor­mal as pos­si­ble. Like all mums, she would worry.

“But she al­ways wanted to make sure she was avail­able for us all the time. I moved ev­ery­where – from Sh­effield to Manch­ester to Lon­don – and she used to come and help me ev­ery time, she did so much for me. We were very close as a fam­ily.”

Julie worked at Bris­tol Air­port for a while, be­fore she met her hus­band, Kevin. They had been look­ing for­ward to mov­ing to Wells from Bishop Sut­ton and spend­ing time to­gether.

“She fi­nally thought ‘this was the per­son I’m go­ing to be with for the rest of my life’. Be­cause she was a sin­gle mum, she was al­ways very in­de­pen­dent,” Re­becca added.

“Meet­ing my step­dad was very good for her. They were very much to­gether. They were so ex­cited to fi­nally move to Wells, where my step­dad is from. They were go­ing to have some time to them­selves.”

Julie strug­gled with de­pres­sion for a num­ber of years, and she was sec­tioned in May 2017 af­ter at­tempt­ing to take her own life.

Af­ter she was treated as an in­pa­tient for six weeks, she was dis­charged home. But in Jan­uary this year, things took a turn for the worse.

Her fam­ily des­per­ately tried to get help, but only got a nurse from AWP to see her once on Fe­bru­ary 6. From that mo­ment on, they would not see an­other men­tal health ex­pert again.

On Fe­bru­ary 19, po­lice of­fi­cers told Julie’s fam­ily she had been taken to hos­pi­tal af­ter try­ing to get in­volved in a crash on the M5 near Taun­ton.

Again, she was dis­charged from hos­pi­tal and al­lowed back home. Her fam­ily rang AWP sev­eral times a day to get some help.

Re­becca said: “Each time, my step­dad was told that the men­tal health team would try to see mum the next day.

“My step­dad was clear that he was con­cerned for mum’s safety, and that he felt alone and un­sup­ported by the men­tal health team.”

AWP agreed to see her on Fe­bru­ary 27, more than a week af­ter her crash on the M5.

But on Fe­bru­ary 22, she went miss­ing from home. Her body was dis­cov­ered a few hours later.

“Dur­ing the mul­ti­ple points of con­tact we had with AWP, the Men­tal Health trust in Taun­ton, and mum’s GP, we were never told that it was un­safe to leave my mum alone, or given ad­vice on how to man­age her con­di­tion in the mean­time, be­fore she could be seen by her men­tal health team,” Re­becca added.

“If we had have been ad­vised to keep her un­der con­stant su­per­vi­sion, be­tween us we would have ar­ranged so that she did not need to be left alone un­til the men­tal health team were able to visit and as­sess her.”

Julie’s death has left a huge hole in the fam­ily.

“My step­dad has had a re­ally hard time. He has now moved to Wells on his own, but he moved away to have the life they wanted, but he’s by him­self,” Re­becca said.

“My brother is get­ting mar­ried next year, and we are heartbroken she is not go­ing to be there.

“If we have chil­dren, she’ll never get to meet them.

“It’s heart­break­ing. Mum would call my grand­par­ents ev­ery sin­gle day to talk to them and make sure they were al­right.

“She wanted to make sure she was there for them.”

The fam­ily hopes the in­quest will pro­vide the an­swers they seek.

Med­i­cal di­rec­tor for AWP, Dr Re­becca East­ley, said: “All staff in­volved in Julie’s care were deeply sad­dened by her death and we would like to of­fer our sin­cere con­do­lences to her fam­ily.”

She added the trust would not com­ment on the cir­cum­stances around Julie’s death un­til the in­quest was con­cluded.

A spokesman for Taun­ton and Som­er­set NHS Foun­da­tion Trust, which runs Mus­grove Park hos­pi­tal, said: “We of­fer our sin­cere con­do­lences to the fam­ily of Mrs Mon­ta­cute.

“While we can’t com­ment on any in­di­vid­ual pa­tients, we can con­firm that any pa­tient from out­side of Som­er­set who is seen at our emer­gency de­part­ment (A&E) would be re­ferred back to their GP once they had been dis­charged as the GP would have ac­cess to their full case his­tory and be best placed to de­ter­mine any on­go­ing health­care needs.”

Julie leaves be­hind her hus­band, Kevin Carter, and her two chil­dren, Alex and Re­becca Mon­ta­cute. She also leaves be­hind mum and dad Brenda and Brian Har­till, and her brother, Richard.

Julie with her hus­band, Kevin Carter, and in­set be­low with her two chil­dren, Alex and Re­becca

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