Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hospital under Fire on Killing

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hospital under Fire on Killing

Article excerpt

Byline: By Daniel Cochlin

Hospital bosses were last night accused of hiding behind "patient confidentiality" after they allowed a mentally-ill man to leave, just hours before he stabbed a woman to death.

Craig Sexton has admitted the manslaughter of former partner Lynda Lovatt at her home on June 18.

But last night it emerged that Rake Lane Hospital, North Tyneside, has still not launched an inquiry into the incident and is refusing to comment on the matter because of the killer's rights.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that Sexton, 31, had a history of psychiatric illness and was taken to the hospital by his parents, who were worried about his strange behaviour.

But he was released after an examination and told to come back the next day.

That night, he stabbed Ms Lovatt, 29, to death with two knives at her home in Defoe Avenue, South Shields, while her two young children slept upstairs.

Ms Lovatt's mother Beryl Lovatt, 57, now caring for the two children James, seven, and Amy, four, last night demanded an independent inquiry and for laws on patient confidentiality to be relaxed.

Mrs Lovatt, of Browntop Place, South Shields, said last night: "I don't think he should have been let out that day ( and the only way we can stop this happening to anyone else is to have an independent inquiry into what happened.

"They should have been more careful ( if he was supposed to be that disturbed, he

should not have been let out. The hospital are saying they cannot talk about this case, but the public won't be safe if we don't know what happened ( it's not enough to say it's confidential."

But last night a spokeswoman for the Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland Mental Health Trust once again refused to comment on Sexton's treatment, saying they do not comment on individual cases because of patient confidentiality. …

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