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Mental health patient found in Leeds after escape from secure hospital

Gary Clark, who absconded from escorted leave from Cheswold Park Hospital

Gary Clark, who absconded from escorted leave from Cheswold Park Hospital

  • by Rob Parsons
 

A PATIENT who escaped from a secure psychiatric hospital while on “escorted leave” in Doncaster has been found in his home city of Leeds.

Gary Clark got away from staff at Cheswold Park Hospital on Tuesday morning, a month after another mental health patient fled in virtually identical circumstances from the same facility.

A spokeswoman for the hospital said today that the 48-year-old “presented himself at a hospital in Leeds, in the early hours of Wednesday morning and is now continuing his rehabilitation process at Cheswold Park Hospital”.

Clark, who was convicted of assault in 2013 and made subject to a hospital order, “was on an accompanied visit into Doncaster town centre when he escaped from staff” on Tuesday.

Police said earlier this week that he was originally from the Leeds area and may be making his way out of the immediate area in an effort to contact friends or family.

His escape was similar to that of David Burslam, who previously kidnapped a bank manager hours after being released from a secure unit, during escorted leave in Doncaster town centre on May 22.

The 49-year-old was found safe and well the following day and hospital bosses promised to carry out a review into how the incident occurred.

Speaking about the latest incident, South Yorkshire Police said Clark, who was convicted of assault in 2013 and made subject to a hospital order, “was on an accompanied visit into Doncaster town centre when he escaped from staff”.

On Cheswold Park Hospital’s website, it is described as “a gender specific hospital for men”.

The website adds: “We assess and treat men with mental illness, personality disorder and learning disability who require specialist psychiatric care in a low or medium secure environment.”

In a statement this week, the hospital said: “Cheswold Park Hospital cares for patients that have a diagnosis of a mental illness.

“The patients are here to receive care and treatment under the Mental Health Act. Part of their care and treatment includes rehabilitation and orientation visits to the local community.

“A patient in receipt of leave to the community has been rigorously assessed and managed and deemed ready to move onto the next stage of their treatment, rehabilitation and recovery.  

“Due to the nature and presenting factors of mental illness, patients may choose to  leave their escorting staff, whilst all attempts are made to reduce the likelihood of this occurring, on rare occasions this will happen.

“By definition the patients at Cheswold Park Hospital are vulnerable people and not necessarily a risk to others and can be more of a risk to themselves.”

 
 
 

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