Bexleyheath knife murderer Nicola Edgington not the only former Oxleas patient to kill

PUBLISHED: 10:54 14 March 2013 | UPDATED: 11:35 14 March 2013

Nicola Edgington killed her own mother in 2005 before murdering Sally Hodkin in October 2011. Pic: Met Police

Nicola Edgington killed her own mother in 2005 before murdering Sally Hodkin in October 2011. Pic: Met Police


In the aftermath of Bexleyheath knife murderer Nicola Edgington’s conviction, figures released by Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust show 10 other patients they have had under their care have committed homicides in the last 10 years.

The founder of charity Hundred Families, which helped the families of those killed by mentally ill people, says lessons are not being learned after Edgington was released back into the community in 2009, four years after killing her own mother.

Julian Hendy’s father was killed in Bristol by a stranger with a history of mental illness.

He said: “One family affected by this is one too many.

“It looks like there have been clear failings in the care of Nicola Edgington. There will be an inquiry but whether that will change anything I’m not sure.

“If institutions learned something it might help ease the pain for families like mine and Sally Hodkin’s.”

Oxleas answered a Freedom of Information request to Mr Hendy in September last year

Edgington was sentenced to a minimum 37-year term in prison for the murder of Mrs Hodkin and attempted murder of Kerry Clark.

On the morning of the murder Edgington tried to admit herself to Oxleas House at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, saying she might harm someone, but left before she could be admitted.

She was released from Bracton House in Dartford, part of Oxleas, in 2009.

Oxleas chief executive Stephen Firn said an internal inquiry with input from an external doctor has been carried out, which said his staff should not have allowed Edgington to leave Queen Elizabeth on the morning of the attacks.

He said: “A common misconception is that no one has been brought to task for this - two of our nurses have been dismissed. They have been reported to the nursing bodies and may be struck off.

“In my 11 years as chief executive this has been the worst mistake and most shocking incidents, and I have passed on my personal condolences to Kerry Clark and the family of Sally Hodkin.

“In four of the 11 cases mentioned in the Freedom of Information request we had only incidental dealings with the individuals, usually only one visit and it was not deemed that their mental health care played a part in their actions.

“I don’t think seven homicides in 10 years is a lot for a London trust, although we certainly won’t be getting complacent.”

The inquiry also revealed that there was nothing wrong with the decision to discharge Edgington from the Bracton Centre or the care she received between 2009 and October 10, 2011.

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