Linden Unit staff failed our brother — (The Rugby Observer)

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The Rugby Observer

Thursday, November 12, 2009

SIBLINGS of killer Percy Wright have spoken of their disappoint-ment of hospital staff who failed to detect their brother’s deteriorating mental health.

The inquest into the fatal stabbing of mother-of-three Colette Lynch, 24, at the hands of her estranged lover Wright in 2005 heard this week from June Smith and Vendon Wright.

They spoke about their concerns over their brother’s mental state which, they said, were not shared by staff at the now defunct Linden Unit at St Cross Hospital.

Speaking to the jury at Leamington town hall on Tuesday (November 10), Mrs Smith said tht in 2004 mental health workers decided her brother was free of any major men-tal illness, despite his increasingly erratic behaviour concerning both his GP and his family.

“You could tell his mental state was starting to deteriorate.  He was sayoing certain things about hearing the transmissions from the television which he knew wasn’t normal, but to him it was reality,” Mrs Smith said.

“Before he was warm, loving, caring – the sort of person who would give his right arm for you.  He would always be there for you.”

The inquest heard how in 2003 Wright has  been caring for his sis-ter who died of cancer, an event which had a big impact upon him and left him as the guardian for his 14-year-old nephew, who Mrs Smith described as difficult.

In 2004 he started he began suffering with back pain and started taking his medication in higher doses than recommended to ease his suffer-ing, along with reular drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis on occasions.

Mrs Smith, who recalled how on one occasion Wright told her daugh-ter she had died and that he had brought her back to life, said: “The drugs made him very short tempered and angry. He found himself shout-ing more instead of being his usual calm self and he didn’t like it.”

Vendon Wright said: “He starting believing people were always out to get him and that he was hearing voices from the radio or that the light bulb was talking to him.”

Mrs Smith decided her brother needed help and accompanied him on an appointment with his GP, who was worried by Wright’s anger and paranoia and referred him to the Linden Unit for psychiatric help.

But there he was not diagnosed with a mental disorder and was instead told to go back to his GP for anti-depressants, a deci-sion which Mrs Smith and Vendon Wright said they were disapppointed with.

Wright’s condition worsened and, without any intervention by the police or mental health workers, he was left free to fatally stab Colette on February 3 2005.

The inquest continues.