Page last updated at 19:50 GMT, Wednesday, 13 May 2009 20:50 UK

Murder suspect 'treated earlier'

By Nic Rigby
BBC News, Norwich

Mary Griffiths
The IPCC is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death

A man detained under the Mental Health Act after the killing of a mother had been considered for sectioning shortly before the attack, the BBC can reveal.

Mary Griffiths, 38, of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, died early on 6 May after the attack in which one of her three daughters received minor injuries.

The BBC has learnt before the attack a man was treated at West Suffolk Hospital and considered for sectioning.

It was decided not to detain him. He was later arrested and then sectioned.

Medical staff at the hospital are believed to have asked the authorities to look at whether he should be sectioned.

Watchdog investigation

A person can only be detained if independent mental health professionals find he is a danger to others, or in some circumstances him or herself, and that detention would be the best option.

It is believed the man was not seen as a danger to others by mental health professionals.

At the end of last week the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) started an investigation after it was revealed that Ms Griffiths had called the police before the stabbing to complain of being harassed by a man.

Suffolk Police said a 40-year-old man, who was originally arrested on suspicion of murder, was no longer under police arrest.

"Suffolk Constabulary can confirm that the victim did contact police prior to this incident," the force spokeswoman said.

"As such, this matter has been referred to the IPCC. They are conducting an investigation and we cannot comment any further."

'Very best mother'

The IPCC said Ms Griffiths telephoned police at about 1800 BST on the evening before her death to inform them she was being harassed, but it was not a 999 call.

She was found at her home in Bull Rush Crescent early on Wednesday morning and taken to West Suffolk Hospital, where she died a short time later.

In a statement, the family of Ms Griffiths said: "Mary Frances was the very best mother, sister, daughter and friend.

"We are blessed to have her in our lives. Sadly this has been taken away from us, and we will never get over her sad tragic loss."

An inquest into the death of Ms Griffiths is due to be opened and adjourned in Bury St Edmunds on Friday.

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