Stabbing victim's mother attacks hostels 'danger'

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The Independent Online
THE mother of a woman stabbed to death by a schizophrenic patient rejected the call for more hostels yesterday and urged the Government to provide extra hospitals for the mentally ill, writes Steve Boggan.

Sandra Sullivan, whose daughter Katie, 23, was a voluntary worker at a hostel, said the killing had exposed a dangerous lack of communication and accountability between psychiatrists and social workers that could lead to more attacks. Katie, a psychology graduate, was stabbed 14 times by Erhi Inweh, 22, in October 1992. Inweh, who is now being treated at Broadmoor hospital, was a resident of a hostel run by the mental health charity Mind in Kingston upon Thames, south-west London.

Patients with a history of violence should not be accepted by such hostels, but no one had told staff or Inweh's social worker that she had tried to kill someone once before. She believed that Katie was the anti-Christ and attacked her with a carving knife.

Mrs Sullivan said: 'My daughter's death was entirely avoidable but in the hostel system there was no communication and, we found out afterwards, no accountability. They are not always run by medically qualified people and psychiatrists so anything can happen there . . . we need proper hospitals with properly qualified staff where patients can be properly treated.'

An ongoing survey by the National Schizophrenia Fellowship has traced 47 killers convicted in England and Wales who were supposedly being cared for in the community. They were responsible for 60 deaths in the past three years.

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