Suzanne Brown killing: Review recommends mental health changes at Essex Police

Jake Neate, who had schizophrenia, was found unfit to stand trial
Jake Neate, who had schizophrenia, was found unfit to stand trial

A review of a case where a man stabbed his partner 173 times has concluded a formal process was needed for police to notify health professionals when someone’s mental health was of concern.

Jake Neate killed Suzanne Brown, 34, at their home in Braintree in 2017.

The review by a domestic abuse board also recommended a mental health practitioner be based in the force control room.

Essex Police said it was working to introduce a referral process.

The domestic homicide review, commissioned by Braintree Community Safety Partnership and carried out by the Southend, Essex and Thurrock Domestic Abuse Board (SETDAB), uses different names to refer to the couple.

Mr Neate, 37, who had schizophrenia and a history of mental health issues, was deemed unfit to stand trial for murder, but a trial of the facts found he was responsible for killing Ms Brown. He was given an indeterminate hospital order.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard he had been taken off an anti-psychotic drug two months before the incident.

captionSuzanne Brown and Jake Neate had been together for more than 10 years

The SETDAB review said Mr Neate’s mental health had deteriorated in the weeks leading up to the killing and his parents had contacted police several times on the night of Ms Brown’s death.

It took the force nearly three hours to respond to a 999 call which had been wrongly categorised.

In 2019, the Independent Office for Police Conduct found call-handlers had no case to answer for misconduct.

The SETDAB review said there was “still no formal process which the police can notify mental health professionals about someone’s deteriorating mental health”.

The report added that Essex Police and Essex Partnership University NHS Trust (EPUT), which provides NHS mental health services, should “consider basing a mental health practitioner in the force control room”.

Credit BBC

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