Suffolk: New probes into care given to two killers by the county’s mental health partnership trust

NEW independent investigations into the care of two killers who had mental health issues are set to begin soon.

NHS East of England, the county’s Strategic Health Authority, will be commissioning an independent investigation into the care and treatment of Lorraine Thorpe, of Ipswich, and Darren Weatherley, of Needham, near Harleston.

Thorpe, 17, was convicted of murdering her father Des Thorpe and Rosalyn Hunt in August 2009, and paranoid schizophrenic Weatherley admitted manslaughter after killing his mother Carol in March 2010.

The new move has emerged following the release of a damning report into the failings of Suffolk Mental Health Partnership Trust (SMHPT). The concerns in the report were raised due to the organisation’s action after nine killings were carried out in less than two years by people who had received care from the trust.

The trust’s new chief executive Aidan Thomas has reassured the public that the criticisms in the report were focused on the way the trust operated rather than care the patients received, and several new action plans were in progress.


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The investigations into the Thorpe and Weatherley cases are due to start soon. An NHS East of England spokeswoman said: “NHS East of England will be commissioning independent investigations into the care and treatment of both of these patients. These will be commissioned in due course.”

A third investigation into the care and treatment of murderer John McFarlane is continuing.

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McFarlane, of Bury St Edmunds, is serving 30 years after murdering 38-year-old fitness instructor Mary Griffiths in front of her children in May 2009.

McFarlane, a 41-year-old slaughterman, had tried to take his own life in the days leading up to the killing, but at that stage mental health bosses decided he should not be detained for the safety of himself or others.

An NHS East of England spokeswoman said: “The independent investigation is ongoing and a report detailing the findings will be published once the investigation is completed.”

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