Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Killer Calls for Inquiry into Care; Stab Man Demands Investigation of Treatment He Was Being Given

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Killer Calls for Inquiry into Care; Stab Man Demands Investigation of Treatment He Was Being Given

Article excerpt


JUST months before he killed Ashleigh Ewing, crazed Ronald Dixon admitted he heard voices in his head telling him to attack people.

Dixon believed he was a danger to himself and others unless he had constant care and took his medication.

His admission was made in front of a community psychiatric nurse.

Now Dixon has called for a full independent public inquiry into his mental health treatment.

And the Chronicle can reveal today that one of Ashleigh's distraught case management line managers at the charity Mental Health Matters has been removed from his position and is working in another role.

He had been involved in working closely with Ashleigh on Dixon's case.

A spokeswoman for Mental Health Matters said: "In the circumstances, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further, save to request that the privacy of our staff and service users be respected at this time."

Dixon's plea comes after the Chronicle revealed ministers were urged to investigate the killing of Ashleigh.

A statement from Michael Pur-don solicitors in Newcastle, who represent Dixon, said: "Mr Dixon has instructed us to seek a full and public inquiry into the circumstances, including his care, leading to the death of Ashleigh Ewing.

"Mr Dixon is now receiving full and appropriate mental health care. He is gaining an understanding of the failings in his care and the contribution these failures made to the deterioration in his mental health.

"He has experienced remorse for his actions and their tragic consequences."

The spokesman added the report into Dixon's medical records, written by consultant forensic psychiatrist Prof Nigel Eastman, at St George's Hospital Medical School, London, revealed his illness was triggered by factors including debt, a non-compliance with medication and alcohol abuse.

Dixon had stopped taking his medication before 22-year-old graduate Ashleigh went to his home.

The spokesman said: "Dixon had been visited by representatives from Mental Health Matters prior to the attack and was noted to be drunk and carrying a bottle of spirits with him.

"A community psychiatric nurse visited Dixon at the beginning of 2006 following alleged threats he had made against the monarchy and recommended that visits should only be made by two or more people."

Ashleigh's family are turning to their local MP, Stephen Hepburn, to push for a public inquiry at Government level.

Ashleigh was killed when she visited Dixon - a paranoid schizophrenic - alone at his flat in Eighth Avenue, Heaton, Newcastle, on May 19 last year, as part of her job with Mental Health Matters.

The dangerous offender stabbed her to death in a frenzied attack with four kitchen knives and a pair of scissors. …

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