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Patients in stab threat; ESCAPE BID: Nurse held hostage at psychiatric clinic.

Byline: By Andy Shipley

TWO dangerous psychiatric patients tried to break out of a secure city mental health clinic - attacking staff and trying to take one hostage.

The attempted escape happened at the Reaside Clinic, Great Park, Rubery, when the two patients are believed to have grabbed a female nurse and threatened to stab her with a pen unless they were allowed out.

A source close to the clinic told the Birmingham Mail: "It all lasted about 20 minutes and was really scary. The nurse was unhurt but really shaken."

Reaside Clinic is a medium secure facility which houses patients with acute mental health problems, many of whom have been convicted of serious criminal offences, including murder and rape.

It was the second escape drama involving a centre run by Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Trust in the last two months.

In September, mentally ill mum Lamina Walker fled from the Ardenleigh Centre in Erdington after being allowed out to get medical treatment at City Hospital. She was later found in London by relatives.

Walker, formerly known as Mirlene Stewart, was committed to a psychiatric hospital for an unlimited period in September 2003 after admitting the manslaughter of her son Jordan Reid on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The depressed mum drowned Jordan in the sea off Saundersfoot, Wales, after her pleas to health and social services for help were ignored.

Colleagues of the Reaside nurse managed to free her and restrain the two patients during the escape bid ten days ago but were attacked in the process.

A spokesman for Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Trust said: "Staff prevented an attempt by two male patients to leave the clinic without authorisation.

"Our security procedures and the vigilance and quick-thinking of staff together ensured the men, who appeared to have planned this, were quickly stopped.

"Special praise must also go to the staff who, despite threats, restrained the two men inside the clinic. While doing so, one member of staff was kicked but did not receive any significant injury. Both patients are now in secure accommodation.

"The incident has been reported to the Home Office in line with Trust procedures

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SECURE... Reaside Clinic in Rubery houses mental health patients
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Nov 22, 2005
Words:369
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