Fri, 07 Apr 2017
AN investigation is underway after a psychiatric patient out on day release from Thornford Park reportedly wounded himself in the Kennet Shopping centre toilets.
Emergency services were called to the shopping centre on Monday, March 13, but no information was provided at the time.
The Newbury Weekly News has since learned that the incident was sparked by a patient from the secure psychiatric hospital in Crookham Common.
A source said that the patient was out on day release from the hospital with a member of staff, who then left him unattended for around an hour.
The patient reportedly got hold of a knife and seriously wounded himself in the toilets.
Police and ambulance crews were called to the shopping centre and an air ambulance was also dispatched to the scene, but was not required.
A spokesman for the South Central Ambulance Service, David Gallagher, said: “This was a concern-for-welfare incident at the centre.
“The patient had sustained a serious injury and was taken by road to the major trauma unit at The John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.”
Thames Valley Police cordoned off the area while paramedics treated the patient.
Police spokeswoman Holly Claydon-Bevan said that a man in his 60s was found injured in the toilets and that his injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.
Thornford Park, previously run by the Priory Group, is now operated by Elysium Healthcare.
When questioned about the incident, a spokesperson said: “We can confirm this incident involved a patient from Thornford Park. We are undertaking a full review of the incident.”
When asked about the patient’s risk level, Elysium said it could not comment further.
Thornford Park hit the media spotlight in 2014 after patient John Maguire absconded from the medium secure facility by scaling the fence using bedsheets.
He was found at Birmingham New Street station four days later by British Transport Police.
Reports have also linked the ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ Peter Sutcliffe with the facility, as well as the ‘Stockwell Strangler’ Kenneth Erskine.