Mental Health Failings Blamed For Leeds Anti-Violence Campaigner's Death

12 November 2012, 18:15

A coroner has ruled that a Leeds anti-violence campaigner who was stabbed to death by her own grandson was let down by a mental health team.

53 year old Pat Regan, who founded the Leeds branch of Mothers Against Guns, died after being stabbed multiple times in the head and neck.

Her body was found at her home on Marlborough Grange, in Leeds, on June 1 2008 and her grandson Rakein Regan admitting manslaughter after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

The inquest heard that a GP referred Rakeim to the crisis team on May 30, believing he was suffering from a psychotic illness needing urgent treatment or detention.

Mrs Regan took her grandson to the emergency department of St James's Hospital the following evening, where he was assessed by a single key worker and sent back to his grandmother's home with a sleeping tablet.

The team was due to contact Rakeim the next morning, June 1, at 10am for further assessment but this was postponed until 4pm. Mrs Regan's body was found at 7.13pm that day.

Coroner David Hinchliff recorded a narrative verdict at the end of the week-long inquest at Leeds Coroner's Court.

Mr Hinchliff said: ``Rakeim Regan's mental health was deteriorating further and his paranoia increasing.

``An assessment by a specialist registrar psychiatrist could have produced a differential diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia then Rakeim could have been removed from his grandmother's home, the outcome of which is that she would not have been unlawfully killed by stab wounds of the head and neck.''

He continued: ``Rakeim Regan was a dependent person who was seriously mentally ill with a psychotic illness.

``The failure by those involved to have him assessed by a specialist registrar psychiatrist... provides the causal connection with the events which led to the death of Patricia Ann Regan.''

In a statement released after the inquest, Mrs Regan's family said: ``It has taken four years but finally we have got to the truth of how Pat and Rakeim were let down and failed by Leeds mental health crisis team.

``Had the crisis team given Rakeim the medical help he so desperately needed, Pat would still be alive today.

``We hope that lessons have been learnt so no other family has to go through what we have been through.''

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