‘The ser­vice pro­vided by our of­fi­cers was not ac­cept­able’

PO­LICE ‘FAILED TO FOL­LOW DO­MES­TIC ABUSE POL­ICY’ BE­FORE WOMAN KILLED

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By RE­BECCA DAY re­[email protected] @Re­bec­ca­DayMEN

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

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