Samuel Reid-Wentworth is just the latest victim of the fashionable concept of âcare in the communityâ; with pejorative and value laden words like âa cowardly attackâ and âpre-meditated killingâ ringing in his ears, hopefully he has finally found the treatment he had been seeking in Broadmoor Secure Mental Hospital yesterday.
The roll call of (predominantly) men like him is gruesomely long. Michael Stone, Wayne Hutchinson, Richard Thorpe, Christopher Clunis, Sean Perry â too many names to mention all; the one thing they have in common is that all of them had sought help for their symptoms, had alerted health care officials to their declining health, and in every case, âcare in the communityâ denied them that care, and âlessons were learntâ â and predictably, failed to be learned, by Hospital Trusts,
It would seem that only after they have murdered some innocent bystander and been labelled âa dangerâ, âa pre-meditated killerâ, or harmed themselves, does anybody listen.
The media is obsessed with their victims â invariable evocatively described as âinnocentâ, âa credit to their familyâ, âa loving father or motherâ, and I am sure they are â I was myself attacked in similar circumstances and have never been able to work again, I hadnât done anything to warrant such an attack, so I do know of which I speak. That attack did nothing to dissuade me from my view that the person who deserves our sympathy every bit as much as the more âobviousâ victim, is the perpetrator.
Liberal âsocietyâ chose to remove the old hospitals, undeniably run down, but notwithstanding that, a safe environment with a stable and experienced staff, who understood the true nature of schizophrenia, and who would have fallen about laughing at the naivetÃ© expressed in this quote from Lisa Rodrigues, Chief Executive of the Trust responsible for Reid-Wentworthâs care:
âSamuel Reid-Wentworth was a manipulative user of our services and thankfully cases like this are rare but when they happen it is right and proper that we learn everything we can from them in order to minimise the chances of similar incidents happening in the futureâ .
On last nightâs BBC news, she went on to say that Reid-Wentworth had âtold us that he wouldnât act on the voices he heardââ¦..and they had believed himâ¦â¦so they released him, to carry out the attack â he had told his psychiatrist six weeks beforehand he was receiving messages from God, Jesus and MI5, who were telling him to âkill, kill, killâ.
The day before, Paul Caesar, or rather, sufficient of Paul Caesar to identify him forensically, after hurling himself under a train, was an act which came as a complete surprise to staff at Springfield Hospital, who were preparing him for release into the caring arms of the community after he he had murdered a man last time he was left to fend for himself. Incidentally, 20 times as many schizophrenic patients kill themselves as harm others.
Michael Stone had spent weeks badgering his local hospital to admit him for treatment, treatment which was provided once he was labelled as an evil killer.
Why does society feel more comfortable providing a secure hospital environment to treat âmurderersâ, and yet recoils from providing that environment for someone who requests treatment?
âCare in the communityâ is a total misnomer, an unfair burden on those blighted by a disease characterised by lack of insight into their condition and an inability to distinguish between wise and unwise decisions, as much as it is unfair to those innocent members of the public who come into contact with them in the grip of its severest symptoms.
The present system is as illogical as finding that you cannot get effective treatment for your heart condition until you have robbed a bank. It is discrimination against the temporarily mentally disabled.