Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Monday, 1 June 2009 16:52 UK

Inquiry following woman's killing

Mary Griffiths
The IPCC is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death

An inquiry is under way after a man held under the Mental Health Act over a woman's killing was considered for sectioning before the attack.

Mary Griffiths, 38, of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, was killed on 6 May.

The BBC revealed that 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. Suffolk Mental Health Partnership Trust said it was starting an inquiry.

Mark Halladay, chief executive of the trust, said: "We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Mary Griffiths and our thoughts are with her family and friends.

'Clarify what happened'

"Although it would not be appropriate to comment in detail on the incident at this stage, I can confirm that the trust is carrying out an internal review of its contacts."

He said the trust would work with the police and other agencies to "clarify what happened".

"We will see if there are any immediate actions that we need to take, and will, of course, cooperate fully with any subsequent review into the matter," he added.

Ms Griffiths was found at her home in Bull Rush Crescent and taken to West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, where she died a short time later.

The BBC revealed that one of Ms Griffiths' three daughters, who were all in the house at the time, received minor injuries.

'Man sectioned'

The BBC learned that medical staff at the hospital asked the authorities to look at whether the man, later arrested by police, should be sectioned.

A person can only be detained if independent mental health professionals find he is a danger to others, or in some circumstances to themselves, 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.

Following the attack 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, after he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act.



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