The Gazette

Wednesday, January 30, 2002


Birthday woman tragedy

A MENTALLY ill Tring woman tragically died after she was found hanging from a noose made from boot laces at a hospital psychiatric ward, an inquest has heard.

Belinda Reynolds was 35 on the day she was found hanging - April 14, 2001 - at the Tindal Centre Psychiatric Unit in Aylesbury. An inquest into her death began at Aylesbury Magistrates Court on Friday

Miss Reynolds' friend Alison Hewitt, a trained nurse, visited her regularly at the Tindal Centre and said the care she received could have been better.

Mrs Hewitt told the Inquest: "Her bed clothes were not clean and those on the bed next to her were not clean. There was blood on the walls, it just wasn't a nice place to stay. I got the impression staff were very overworked."

She also said that Miss Reynolds, often known as Linda, had always been a 'big girl' but had lost about two stones in weight since her admission to the unit six weeks earlier.

Miss Reynolds, who was a voluntary patient at the Tindal Centre, had handed in her Swiss army knife and her boot laces to nursing staff. Emma Petrie. A staff nurse at the centre, told the inquest if a patient asked for their belongings back she had to give them out, unless she had strong suspicions the patient would harm themselves.

Miss Reynolds had said she wanted to use the scissors on the knife to trim her fringe and to put her boots on to go outside for a cigarette - but she was found hanging in the toilets later by staff. The inquest continues.