‘No bed’ for mentally ill man who stabbed grandmother

Pat Regan.
Pat Regan.
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A CAMPAIGNER against violence was stabbed to death by her paranoid grandson less than 24 hours after being told there were “no beds available” at a Yorkshire hospital following a mental health assessment.

Rakeim Regan’s family, including his grandmother Pat Regan and her nephew Anthony Johnson, had in desperation taken the 21-year-old to A&E at St James’s Hospital in Leeds as they feared for his mental health after he had spoken about devils getting hold of him.

Mr Johnson told a Leeds inquest how they wanted him to be sectioned for his own good, but after he was assessed by a member of staff, and asked questions to determine his state of mind, he was given a sleeping tablet so he could get some rest.

He was sent home to Mrs Regan’s flat at 11.30pm on May 31, 2008.

Mr Johnson said: “The member of staff asked for a private word with my Aunty Pat and he told her there were no beds and they were struggling to find one.

“He said Rakeim would be seen the following day so we had no choice but to take him home and try to look after him until then.”

But by the next day Rakeim had stabbed his grandmother in the head and neck, fatally injuring her.

The inquest in Leeds heard how a day earlier, Mrs Regan had called family GP David Watson, of Hyde Park Surgery, to her home as Rakeim had been acting “oddly”.

Dr Watson told the inquest how on arrival at the Marlborough Grange flat, Rakeim was over-familiar.

“He had paranoid thoughts and said he had special powers, a symptom of psychotic illness,” he said.

Dr Watson contacted the crisis resolution team at the Becklin Centre mental health unit and referred Rakeim onto them, as he needed specialist help.

The inquest heard from senior key worker and registered mental nurse Sarah Wren, who took the call and placed Rakeim as a high priority.

She told the hearing that they could get no answer on the telephone and cold-called at the flat but found no one at home.

They returned the following day, but could not get an answer or find Rakeim.

Later that day, concerned relatives took him to casualty at St James’s after he went missing, and they found him in city centre Leeds and were worried for his state of mind.

The body of Mrs Regan, a community worker, was found at her home in Marlborough Grange on June 1.

Mrs Regan’s daughter and mother of Rakeim, Frances Regan, had earlier told the inquest that her son was not a violent person and she feared he was going to kill himself.

She said he told her after Mrs Regan’s death that he had been in a state of paranoia at the time: “He felt she was talking to the police and the police were coming to get him.”

Mrs Regan took part in national campaigns and was invited to Downing Street for a summit against violence with then Prime Minister Tony Blair.

She became involved after her son Danny’s murder in December 2002.

The inquest at Leeds Coroner’s Court continues.