Wife killer caged — (The Sheffield Star)

SSRI Ed note: Man on Prozac for depression becomes paranoid. A neuroleptic is added, he is sectioned, then both drugs stopped, he goes home, stabs his wife to death.

To view original article click here

The Sheffield Star


SSRI Stories Summary: Colburn Pashley has been put on Prozac by his GP for depression.   At some point after this, he is admitted to a ward in a mental hospital due to paranoia, increasing anxiety, and alcohol misuse.  All of these can be effects of SSRIs.  His Prozac is continued and a neuroleptic, amisulpride, is added.  Unwilling to accept treatment, he “absconds” but is caught the same day and re-admitted involuntarily under Section 2 of England’s Mental Health Act.  He is released March 23, when staff note that he has no delusional thinking but is ‘highly strung and anxious’.   At this time both medications are terminated.  Apparently the consulting psychiatrist is not aware that suddenly stopping an SSRI like Prozac can be problematic, let alone when quitting another med simultaneously.  Pashley becomes increasingly paranoid and irrational, and his wife calls to complain about it.  Nothing is done and on April 2 he stabs her to death.  It appears neither the NHS medical team nor the reviewers have knowledge of withdrawal effects.  The inquiry report concludes that:  “the decision to observe [Pashley’s] progress unmedicated was reasonable”.   Reasonable to cut him off his meds the day he was to be sent home?  Really?  Thanks to this NHS “good standard” of care, a woman is dead, a child traumatized, and Pashley is serving a life sentence.

10:40 11:31 Thursday 17 August 2006

A PARANOID schizophrenic who bludgeoned his wife with an iron, throttled her to death, then set fire to their home to cover his tracks has been sent to the UK’s most secure hospital indefinitely by Sheffield’s top judge.

Colburn Wayne Pashley’s attack on wife Wendy in the bedroom of their Rotherham home was witnessed by their seven-year-old son, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

In a harrowing interview with police officers, the youngster told how he saw his parents fighting, with blood everywhere. He added: “They were first on the bed, then they fell off the bed. Then my dad suffocated her.”

Asked what suffocation meant the youngster said: “It means you stop people breathing. He put his hand over her mouth – that’s what my dad did. She was lying on the floor not breathing.”  The officers asked how he knew and the child replied: “Because my dad told me.”

Pashley, aged 45, of Jackson Crescent, Rawmarsh, was deemed unfit to stand trial for murder. A jury was appointed to determine whether or not he killed his wife. They took 10 minutes to find that the former market trader had killed 41-year-old Mrs Pashley.

The fatal attack happened on April 2 just nine days after Pashley was released from Rotherham District General Hospital where he was admitted under the Mental Health Act. Psychiatrists said he was suffering paranoid delusions and believed Wendy was having an affair. He thought she was trying to poison him so she could go off with another man. He also thought people were saying he was a paedophile.

Nicholas Campbell QC prosecuting said a resident spotted the fire and called the emergency services. He said: “Fire officers extinguished a small fire in the bedroom. When the smoke had dissipated they found the burned body of a women lying on the floor at the foot of the bed. “She had been a victim of blows to the head which had been of sufficient force to render her unconscious. She had been strangled and that caused her death.”

Following the killing Pashley used a cigarette lighter to set fire to the duvet his wife was wrapped in, the court heard. Then he took his son and five-year-old daughter to a relative’s house telling her: “I need somebody to look after the kids. Wendy and I have had a fight. I might have to call an ambulance.”

He returned home to find residents had alerted firefighters and was arrested at the scene. Initially he denied any involvement in her death but changed his story after seeing his son’s video evidence. Home Office pathologist Christopher Milroy said bruising indicated Wendy was hit with an iron or similar object and died from being throttled before the fire was set. Making a hospital order Judge Alan Goldsack QC said Pashley would be detained at Rampton Hospital indefinitely if necessary. “If he becomes fit to be tried he can be tried,” he added.

Today Wendy Pashley’s relatives said they were pleased with the outcome. They said the children were living with relatives and doing well. Det Sgt Sarah Hoyle said: “It has obviously been a very traumatic time for Wendy’s family. The children have lost their mum and now they have lost their dad too.”

Diagnosed with paranoia

EXPERTS told Sheffield Crown Court that tormented Colburn Pashley had been under psychiatric care for six months before he strangled his wife – including a spell in mental hospital. The 45-year-old, who has twice attempted suicide while on remand, has been diagnosed with a form of paranoid psychosis called Persistent Delusional Disorder. It led him to believe his wife was part of a conspiracy to label him a paedophile and make him mentally ill – even though she had only tried to help him with his illness.

He met his wife Wendy 17 years ago. They married after four years and had two children. In November last year Pashley started suffering from severe depression which psychiatrist Dr John Kent said manifested itself in severe paranoia. Pashley admitted: “I thought people were out to kill me. I didn’t go out of the house.”


To view complete original report click here

Independent Investigation into the Care and Management of Mental Health Service User 2006/1787


http://www.hundredfamilies.org/ wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/COLBURN_PASHLEY_APR06.pdf



This report sets out the findings of the independent Investigation Team following its analysis of the care and treatment of a mental health service user [Colburn Pashley] who was convicted of murdering his wife on 2 April 2006. He was subsequently convicted on 9 August 2007 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

(Page 6) 1.0    BACKGROUND

On the morning of 2 April 2006 a mental health service user [Colburn Pashley] in Rotherham viciously attacked his wife, beating her to death. He took his two children to a nearby relative, telling them that there had been  an accident, and asked the relative to look after the children.  He then returned to the marital home. At some point either before taking the children from the home or on his return the MHSU set fire to his wife’s body.

Outline Chronology

On the evening of 9 March 2006 the MHSU was admitted under section 2 of the Mental Health Act[1] to the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Rotherham General Hospital. His admission followed his absconding from an open ward earlier that same day.

The precipitating factors to his admission were:

increasing anxiety;


and alcohol misuse.

The primary reason for his admission to PICU was to contain the risk of further attempts to abscond as it was clear from the mental health assessment that the MHSU was not willing to accept treatment.

Over the course of the next three weeks his paranoia and overall mental health improved, and he was discharged from PICU to an open ward on 20 March, and then home on 23 March.

On 29 March the MHSU was reviewed by his consultant psychiatrist in outpatients. At this time there was no evidence of delusional thinking although he did remain ‘highly strung and anxious’.

On 31 March the MHSU’s wife telephoned the Carer Support Service (CSS). She reported that her husband remained quite paranoid and  had taken her mobile phone off her [sic] and also her disability living allowance forms, as he believed they were for putting him back in hospital. She also reported that he was accusing her of trying to give him an overdose. She advised the CSS that she felt unable to cope without support. The CSS said that they would advise her husband’s consultant psychiatrist of the situation…

On 1 April the MHSU and his wife were at her mother’s home for the afternoon. They recall that he was suspicious and paranoid believing his mother in law was trying to poison him and accusing his wife of the same.

The attack by the MHSU on his wife occurred on the morning of 2 April 2006.

(Page 14) With regard to the medications prescribed to the MHSU, the internal investigation reports do say what medications were prescribed, namely:

Fluoxetine (an anti-depressant) 20mg once a day from 10 March to 13 March 2006

Amisulpride (an anti-psychotic) 200mg twice a day from 13 March to 16 March 2006.

The fluoxetine had previously been prescribed by the MHSU’s GP and was therefore continued during the initial admission period.  The amisulpride was commenced following a ward round on the 13 March where it was apparent that the MHSU’s paranoid ideas and not depression seemed to be the MHSU’s main problem. Although not  stated clearly in the internal reports the reason the amisulpride was stopped after three days was that the MHSU was experiencing side effects with this medication and refused to take more of the medication. On discussion with the Consultant Psychiatrist in PICU the   Investigation Team understands that no further medication was prescribed as the MHSU was improving. The decision to observe his progress unmedicated was reasonable.

(Page 4) Main conclusions

As a result of this review the main conclusions  are:

  • The care and treatment of the MHSU was of a good standard…

[1] Mental Health Act 1983, England and Wales,  Sections 2 3 4 5

Under a section 2 (s2), you are detained [involuntarily] in hospital for assessment of your mental health and to get any treatment you might need. An assessment will normally look at:

  • whether you suffer from a mental disorder,
  • which type of mental disorder you have,
  • whether you need any treatment and how you might respond.

You will be placed under a s2 if you have not been assessed in hospital before or if you have not been assessed in hospital for a long time.