Woman hanged herself days after hospital discharge

PUBLISHED: 13:00 26 June 2012

Archant

A 31-YEAR-OLD hung herself just days after mental health experts released her from hospital saying she was a low suicide risk.

Bonnie Styles, who had a history of self harm and depression, was found dead at her Lower Church Road home by a neighbour six days after being released from Weston General Hospital following an attempted overdose.

An inquest into her death at Flax Bourton Coroners Court heard last week how Miss Styles was admitted to the accident and emergency department on March 31 last year after taking an overdose of prescription medicines.

Police had to force themselves into her top floor flat after she phoned her mother, Caroline Bruiguier, and said ‘don’t worry about me any more, I’m going away’ before barricading herself into her home and taking the pills.

She left suicide notes for friends and family, but was still semi-conscious when she was found.

Once at the hospital Miss Styles discharged herself against medical guidance, but as an accident and emergency consultant considered her a high risk to herself she was detained by police under the Mental Health Act and taken back again.

However, she was released into the care of the hospital.

The following morning mental health nurses working for Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust at the Uphill hospital, Terry Mahon and Rob McLaughlin, were asked to assess Miss Styles and considered her a low repeat suicide risk.

They were satisfied that she could wait for further guidance until she attended a North Somerset Drug and Alcohol Service appointment in the Boulevard, Weston, the following week.

They say they made her aware of ways she could get extra help in the meantime if she needed it.

Just six days later Miss Styles hung herself in the stairwell of her home, once again leaving suicide notes for friends and family.

The court heard on Tuesday how the former heroin addict had cut herself on her arms and wrists multiple times in the days between being released from hospital and her death, using a sharp blade on some occasions.

Miss Styles’ mother says her daughter was ‘angry’ and turned up at her home shouting and swearing when she was released following her assessment.

But Mr Mahon told the court: “She had some ideas of where she wanted to go and the future.

“We thought the risk of suicide was low at that time. When she left she was quite composed and did not appear agitated.”

Mr McLaughlin, who said he and his colleague carried out a thorough assessment, added: “On the day we saw her she was much calmer.

“We knew she had an appointment coming up in the Boulevard and she was much more rational.”

Friends and family described through written evidence at the hearing on Tuesday how Miss Styles had become ‘paranoid’ in the days leading to her death and thought people were trying to harm her and steal her money.

Dr Forshall, a psychiatrist for the North Somerset Drug And Alcohol Service, said he felt the nurses who considered Miss Styles a low repeat suicide risk made an ‘appropriate judgement’ and measured response on the basis of the evidence they had.

He had seen Miss Styles a number of times and the court heard how she had a long history of depression and drug dependency.

She was described by ex-boyfriend Richard Baker as ‘a laugh’ and ‘clever’, but her mother explained during the inquest how her daughter had suffered with anger problems and mood swings.

Avon coroner Maria Voisin gave a verdict of suicide and said Miss Styles has taken her own life ‘while the balance of her mind was disturbed’.

More from Weston Mercury

48 minutes ago

A couple’s home was raided while they were partying the night away at a police ball. The story featured in the Weston Mercury and Somerset Herald 50 years ago.

Read more

Work has begun on Weston’s £11million flagship food and drink centre, which is expected to bring 250 jobs to the area.

Read more
10:50

Significant improvements to day-time operations at Weston General Hospital’s A&E have been recognised by health inspectors.

Read more

Indie rock band The Zutons will perform in Bristol next spring.

Read more

An action-packed superhero adventure comes to cinema screens next week, and Mercury readers will win tickets to see it.

Read more

The family of a Worle youngster have praised their son’s bravery after he won a Somerset Award.

Read more
Yesterday, 20:00

A sing-along screening of 2017’s smash hit The Greatest Showman will take place at Bristol Hippodrome.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:00

A stunning display of more than 100,000 twinkling lights in a Burnham cul-de-sac has raised more than £1,000 for local charities, in just its opening week.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:00

Plans to extend Weston’s conservation area – and open it up to receiving hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of grants – has been given the green light.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:06

Father Christmas is checking in on his elves this festive season at his South West Workshop in Cheddar.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Heavy Showers

Heavy Showers

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 5°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists