Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Never Let This Happen Again; LOVES ONES' ANGUISH AFTER DEATH OF PSYCHIATRIC UNIT PATIENT

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Never Let This Happen Again; LOVES ONES' ANGUISH AFTER DEATH OF PSYCHIATRIC UNIT PATIENT

Article excerpt

Byline: SOPHIE DOUGHTY

CHANCES to save DJ Ricky Deane may have been missed, his dazed family said today.

Loved ones of the popular 43-year-old, whose body was found on the banks of the Tyne, on Friday, have been left devastated by his death.

His family had held on to the hope he would be found alive since he went missing from the South Shields mental health unit where he was being treated, two months ago.

But today, as his brother Russell comes to term with his loss, the 39-year-old is questioning why Ricky was ever allowed out of the hospital.

Now Russell plans to ask bosses at the Bede Wing at South Shields District Hospital why Ricky was not reported missing until more than 10 hours after he had been due to return, and why his friends and family were not told he was gone until the next day.

He said: "The hospital want hanging for this. We will be pushing for a full investigation into this.

"We want some answers about how this could ever have happened in the first place."

Ricky was a popular club DJ until he suffered a breakdown eight years ago.

After moving to South Shields from Bristol in 1990, he became a familiar face around the town's pubs and clubs.

But he began suffering from depression when the stress of studying for a music degree got on top of him, and on Friday, April 19, staff at the Bede Wing mental health unit in South Shields, where he was a voluntary patient, assessed him as being fit to leave the hospital grounds.

He left some time after 1.30pm but failed to return, but police were not informed of his disappearance until 11.45pm.

And his loved ones had no idea he was missing until the next day.

"The biggest concern we have got is the timescale," said Russell. "The hospital never told us he was missing, it was only after they informed police that we found out. …

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