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