Bexleyheath murder accused Nicola Edgington 'should not have left hospital' before knife attacks

This Is Local London: The scene in Albion Road where Sally Hodkin was stabbed The scene in Albion Road where Sally Hodkin was stabbed

MENTAL health patient Nicola Edgington should not have been allowed to leave hospital hours before she allegedly murdered a stranger in the street, a court heard.

Edgington is accused of stabbing a grandmother to death and attempting to murder a 22-year-old woman in two random Bexleyheath knife attacks on the morning of October 10, 2011.

The 32-year-old was due to be admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, before leaving without warning at around 7am, a jury at the Old Bailey was previously told.

Witness and consultant forensic psychiatrist Professor Nigel Eastman was asked by defence counsel John Cooper QC what he would have done had he been confronted with Edgington at QEH that morning.

The jury of five men and seven women was again played recordings of 999 calls made by the defendant from an A&E pay phone in which she claimed: "Last time I was feeling like this I killed my Mum."

Professor Eastman said: "If I had been the doctor responsible for this patient and I had been able to hear that exchange I would not have hesitated one second to admit her to hospital.

"The calls are a compelling clinical picture of someone who is relapsing into their psychoactive illness.

"It would have been indefensible not to recall her because there’s such a strong index of suspicion that she’s relapsing."

Professor Eastman diagnosed the defendant with a psychoactive disorder when he assessed her for four hours in March 2012, the jury was told.

This contrasts with defence witness Dr Adrian Cree’s diagnosis of full-blown paranoid schizophrenia.

Edgington took two buses to Bexleyheath after leaving QEH before attempting to murder Kerry Clark and nearly decapitating Sally Hodkin, 58, near the War Memorial in Bexleyheath, the court was previously told.

Unemployed Edgington, of Ambedkar House, Flavell Mews, Greenwich, denies one charge of murder and another of attempted murder.

She admits the stabbings but is pleading diminished responsibility on account of her mental condition.

The trial continues.

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