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Depressed woman died at suicide spot.

Byline: Sam Malone

A SEVERELY depressed woman took her own life the day after she was released from hospital following a psychiatric assessment, an inquest heard yesterday.

Judith Ricketts' body was found at the bottom of cliffs at a notorious suicide spot at Southerndown in the Vale of Glamorgan in November last year.

The day before she had been discharged from the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend (PWH) where she had been recovering following a suicide attempt three weeks earlier.

The inquest in Cardiff heard questions were raised about the level of care provided by medics at both PWH and the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff (UHW).

But coroner Mary Hassell said it was "impossible" for them to predict Mrs Ricketts' subsequent actions as she did not show any intention of harming herself.

On October 24, Mrs Ricketts, 57, was taken to PWH after jumping out of a bedroom window.

She suffered fractured cervical and thoracic vertebrae and broken ribs for which she underwent emergency surgery at UHW before being transferred back to Bridgend.

During her time at UHW Mrs Ricketts was twice seen by specialist psychiatric doctors who recommended she be treated as an inpatient at PWH.

However, on her return to Bridgend Mrs Ricketts was assessed by two psychiatric nurses who decided to discharge her on November 16, providing she agreed to home treatment by the community mental health team.

On November 17, Mrs Ricketts, who had taken at least two drug overdoses in recent weeks and was also said to be upset at the death of her cat, drove off in her husband Graham's car without telling him where she was going.

A police search was launched and Mrs Ricketts' body was later found in a small cove at Southerndown. The post-mortem examination later stated the cause of death as multiple head injuries.

Giving evidence at the inquest, Mrs Ricketts' brother John Rogers said that throughout her life she did not feel she had ever achieved much.

He added: "Judy was very competent, intelligent and perhaps rather unfortunately like me and the rest of the family, rather competitive.

"She became a teacher as I became a doctor, we competed to do well, we strived to do well, that was our goal as children, as adolescents and maybe Judy took that too far as an adult."


[bar] Judith's husband Graham [bar] Judith Ricketts, 57, from Cowbridge
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 16, 2011
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