‘The service provided by our officers was not acceptable’
POLICE ‘FAILED TO FOLLOW DOMESTIC ABUSE POLICY’ BEFORE WOMAN KILLED
POLICE and mental health services have accepted criticisms following the death of a woman at the hands of her boyfriend.
Natasha Wild was stabbed to death at her home in Rochdale by Lloyd Brackenbury in November 2016.
Brackenbury, 32, was found guilty of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at Manchester Crown Court in 2017, and was ordered to be detained in a psychiatric hospital. He was cleared of murder.
An inquest in Heywood into Natasha’s death, which concluded on Wednesday, heard he was a paranoid schizophrenic.
He had been under the care of Rochdale Early Intervention Service, provided by Pennine Care Trust.
Staff discharged him back into the care of his GP on November 9, 20 days before Natasha’s death.
It was a decision which ‘possibly contributed to (her) death,’ a jury concluded.
Mental health workers from the trust did not place him in the ‘red zone’ in the traffic light system they use to assess a patient’s risk to themselves or others, despite his behaviour.
This was ‘inappropriate’ and ‘possibly contributed to (her) death,’ the jury concluded.
Ten days before she died, Natasha and her mum Susan Wild went to see Lloyd’s mum Linda Brackenbury to raise concerns about his behaviour.
Natasha said that Lloyd had held a knife to her neck, and had previously thrown her to the floor of their home.
“At this point I said ‘We need to get Lloyd sectioned.’ He was going to hurt Natasha”, Mrs Brackenbury said.
She told the court she called the mental health crisis team but was told they ‘couldn’t come out’ because there was only one person in the office.
Mrs Brackenbury then called 999 for the police and an ambulance.
The police officers who attended the home ‘failed to follow’ domestic abuse policy, and treated the call as a mental health matter, the inquest concluded.
The officers also failed to ‘adequately read the diary prepared by Natasha’ on her laptop, in which potential criminal offences were disclosed.
This failure ‘possibly contributed to (her) death,’ the jury found.
A jury concluded that Lloyd ‘should have been arrested by the police officer and failure to do so could have possibly contributed to Natasha’s death.’
The jury found that Natasha was unlawfully killed. Her medical cause of death was a stab wound to the neck. A police statement said: “GMP accept the findings. The service provided by our officers was not acceptable and for this we deeply apologise.”
Dr Henry Ticehurst, medical director for Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We recognise that the circumstances surrounding Natasha’s death have raised concerns and we have already implemented a significant number of operational improvements and changes in the last three years. We co-operated fully with this inquest and will consider the coroner’s recommendations as a matter of priority.”
Sally McIvor, Rochdale council director of adult care, said the coroner had found that, since Natasha’s tragic murder, a significant number of operational changes and improvements had been made and implemented across services.”
Pennine Care Trust statement
Lloyd Brackenbury and Natasha Wild, who died at his hands