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"Chances missed" in Reid-Wentworth case
11:22am Friday 29th June 2012 in News
Three major opportunities were missed to assess risks posed by a paranoid schizophrenic who repeatedly stabbed a young woman in a supermarket, according to a report published today.
Samuel Reid-Wentworth, who harboured fantasies about killing young women, inflicted around 21 stab wounds on Lucy Yates with a pocket knife six weeks after being discharged from a mental health unit.
After spotting Miss Yates from on board a bus, he alighted and followed her into the Somerfield store at Littlehampton where she was going to buy groceries.
Miss Yates, then 22, survived the attack, in September 2008.
Reid-Wentworth was locked up under the Mental Health Act by a judge at Lewes Crown Court the following February, when he was also 22, for attempted murder and is detained indefinitely at Broadmoor.
Investigators Verita considered the care he had received from Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
They said three major opportunities were missed during the treatment of Reid-Wentworth, known in the report as Mr Z.
The first was when he was first admitted to psychiatric services in August 2007, after assaulting two female strangers on the same day, with each occasion involving a weapon.
"The motivation underlying the assaults and the significance of his associated symptoms were never fully explored," the report says.
The second opportunity was when he was transferred to the rehabilitation and recovery unit after five months on the acute admission ward.
The report says: "Assessment of risk was incomplete and the potential seriousness of the two assaults on the women prior to admission was still not fully appreciated."
The third major opportunity was when he was readmitted to the acute mental health ward after the re-emergence of psychotic symptoms including thoughts of killing people.
Dr Tim Ojo, executive medical director for Sussex Partnership said “We welcome the publication of today’s report and I would like to give my assurance that we have listened closely to recommendations of this report.
“We have already taken all the necessary action to implement the lessons that we have learned, both from our own review in 2008 and this report which builds on our conclusions.
We will continue to share what we have learnt widely across the mental healthcare community.”