Bexleyheath murder suspect begged police to section her
PUBLISHED: 16:54 09 January 2013
A policeman failed to run a check on a convicted killer who begged him to help her get sectioned just hours before she stabbed a grandmother to death, a court heard today.
PC Dan Phillips did not query the background of Nicola Edgington, who killed her own mother in 2005, when he was called to Express Cars in Woolwich Road at 4am on October 9, 2011.
She did not have enough money to pay for a taxi to hospital but asked PC Phillips to help her get mental health help.
He and colleague PC Matthew Payne took Edgington to Queen Elizabeth hospital but left her alone in A&E. Hours later she left and killed Sally Hodkin, 58, in Albion Road, Bexleyheath and allegedly attempted to kill 22-year-old Kerry Clark.
Edgington denies murdering Mrs Hodkin but admits manslaughter with diminished responsibility. She denies Miss Clark’s attempted murder.
A police computer check would have revealed that Edgington’s conviction for fatally stabbing her mother Marion. She was detained in a secure unit until she was deemed fit enough for release in 2009.
PC Phillips said: “I’m not sure why I didn’t carry out the check - maybe I assumed PC Payne would have carried one out but I can’t say for certain.”
John Cooper QC defending countered: “Should she not have been taken into mental health care immediately?”
PC Phillips continued: “I wouldn’t necessarily have done anything differently - it’s important to consider the situation as it is in front of you. Just because she did that before, doesn’t mean she’ll do it again.”
Taxi office controller Darren Bradley said: “She said she wanted to be taken to the Bracton Centre in Dartford. She told me she had mental health problems which is why we called the police.”
The officers say they only left Edgington at Queen Elizabeth when they were satisfied that she would not leave the hospital and would stay to receive treatment.
PC Phillips said: “She seemed calm and meek. When we tried to leave she followed us and said she did not want to wait by herself. She was very impatient but I convinced her she would get help shortly at Queen Elizabeth and I’m satisfied we helped her to the best of our ability.”
The trial at the Old Bailey continues. It is expected to last four to six weeks.