Boyfriend killer jailed for life — (Halifax Courier)

SSRI Ed note: Woman, 20, on citalopram, drinks, stabs boyfriend to death, does not remember, pleads NCR. Press blames personality disorder, med not mentioned.

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SSRI Stories Summary:  Teenager, 19, under NHS mental health care for at least 6 years, and on the drug citalopram.  In the past she has attempted suicide by drinking alcohol and overdosing on the citalopram.  Four months before the tragedy a doctor added a neuroleptic drug for a reason that is unclear, since JC was not psychotic.  This would have further impaired her cognition.  April 1 2002 she stabbed her younger boyfriend to death.  Mixing booze with her psych drugs was an obvious factor in the tragedy, and yet the independent case review is completely silent on the connection.  The review report notes that: “The key conclusion of the inquiry is that the homicide was not a preventable event.” Yet it probably would not have happened had the NHS refrained from prescribing an SSRI to a person under 18 years old, as they are supposed to. The SSRI is not mentioned in any news articles.

Halifax Courier

published 11:57 Tuesday 18 February 2003

A YOUNG woman who brutally stabbed her boyfriend to death after a drinking binge could walk free from prison in less than three years.

Jayne Helen Coulter (20), of Clough Lane, Mixenden, Halifax, was jailed for life yesterday but was told she would only have to serve two years and eight months in prison before she could apply for parole.

She denied murdering 18-year-old Nathaniel Lees on Easter Monday last year but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Mr Paul Worsley QC, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court that on the day of Nathaniel’s death, the couple, who moved in together in October 2001, had both been drinking cider.

At 4 pm neighbours heard the pair arguing, doors slamming and Coulter shout, “Nathan, don’t leave me”, followed by a long loud scream.

She had stabbed her boyfriend several times and became hysterical as he stumbled outside in bloodstained clothes and collapsed on a grass verge.

Nathaniel was cradled in the arms of neighbours until paramedics arrived but he died in the ambulance on the way to Calderdale Royal Hospital.

Police officers attended but Coulter was abusive and threatened to kill herself.

She and Nathaniel both had a history of self harm and on this occasion her arms were covered in cuts – some of which were new.

She remained volatile at Halifax police station and assaulted officers while trying to injure herself by hitting her head against a cell wall.

Five hours later a test revealed she had 175mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood. It was estimated she would have had 270mg of alcohol in her bloodstream at the time of the attack – about three and a half times over the legal limit for a driver.

A 20cm long brown handled kitchen knife was recovered from the scene.

A post-mortem examination revealed Nathaniel had received a fatal stab wound to the front of the chest which penetrated the heart and the liver. He had a second stab wound and a number of cuts and scratches.

When Coulter was interviewed she could not remember the attack but claimed she would not want to hurt Nathaniel.

In mitigation, Mr David Fish QC, for Coulter, drew attention to the sad facts of her adolescence.

Psychiatric reports revealed that Coulter is suffering from an untreatable personality disorder.

When passing sentence, the recorder of Leeds, Judge Norman Jones QC, said: “You, of course, have to live the rest of your life in the knowledge that you killed someone you had genuine affection for and probably still do.

“Having read the medical reports, I am satisfied that all three psychiatrists are satisfied that you pose at least some risk for the foreseeable future. I have come to the conclusion that the only sentence I can pass upon you is one of life imprisonment.”

He said she would be assessed by the Parole Board in two years and eight months but warned her not to raise her hopes.

Coulter will begin her sentence in a young offender’s institution but will be transferred to an adult prison when she reaches 21.


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Independent  Inquiry Report, West Yorkshire Strategic Health Authority — (Dr Simon Baugh)

Brief Case Summary

Ms A was a 19-uear old out-patient of the South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust, resident of Halifax.  On the 1st April 2002 she was arrested and charged with the murder of her partner and assault of two police officers.  She was subsequently found guilty of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibilty.

Ms A had been an out-patient of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Services at age 13-14 years, related to stress around her father’s serious ill health and her own physical health problems.

She first presented to the adult psychiatric services following an overdose of the antidepressant citalopram, prescribed by her general practitioner.

She was initially managed by the Deliberate Self-Harm Team, but was also referred to Dr B a Locum consultant Psychiatrist in Halifax, and was subsequently seen by his Staff Grade Doctor in the out-patient clinic…

5. Child Psychiatric Contact

Ms A was referred to a child psychiatrist in 1995 by her GP, she was stressed by the death of her grandfather, her father’s serious ill health and the fact she was overweight.

She had regular weekly therapy and her care was active, dealing with her problems including involving her school and arranging home tuition.


  • Records indicate this seems to have been a success…

6. Contact with Adult Services

a) Ms A first presented to the Halifax A & E Dept in Nov 2001 following an overdose of the antidepressant citalopram plus alcohol.  She was assessed by a community psychiatric nurse who was part of a Ptimaty Care team.  She was assessed as no longer being suicidal, with no sign ot depression or psychosis.

In December 2001 she became more upset and felt “out of control”, feeling she may self-harm again, and a referral was made to psychology for a second opinion and also for cognitive therapy.

She was seen in the clinic by Dr C, who made changes to her medication, adding a neuroleptic (CHlorpromazine) to her antidepressant treatment…