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Woman threatened to throw herself off A14 flyover for fourth time this year

16 February, 2017 - 08:13
An A14 bridge near Bury St Edmunds where the woman has made threats to harm herself. Photo Gregg Brown

An A14 bridge near Bury St Edmunds where the woman has made threats to harm herself. Photo Gregg Brown

A troubled 23-year-old woman has appeared in court again after threatening to throw herself of an A14 flyover for the fourth time in just over a month.

The latest incident occurred early last Friday at a bridge near Bury St Edmunds.

The woman will be sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court on March 6 after admitting wilful obstruction of the highway when appearing before Ipswich magistrates. She is currently on bail

The woman, who has a long history of closing the A14 by threatening to jump off flyovers, appeared before the same court several times last month after threatening to kill herself three times in January, including twice on New Year’s Day.

She also appeared before the court on Tuesday last week where she pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour during an incident on a night out in Bury St Edmunds on February 5.

The woman was also in court on December 29 to admit assaulting a police officer who had tried to save her life.

He had grabbed a cigarette lighter from her after she doused herself in petrol and threatened to light it while in her Bury St Edmunds flat on December 27.

There were other incidents involving threats to harm herself which caused the A14 to be closed last year.

In August emergency services attended a 90-minute stand-off which caused long tailbacks at the A14 flyover east of Bury St Edmunds. The woman was given a conditional discharge the previous month for a similar offence.

In March she was fined £50 for causing police to close the A14 at Bury St Edmunds on February 20 for more than an hour when she threatened to throw herself off a bridge. She admitted failing to comply with a community protection notice for the second time since it was imposed in June 2015.

During one of the January hearings District Judge Alexander Jacobs told her: “You are still not well in my judgment. Someone needs to help you.”

Previously the woman’s solicitor Lyndon Davies said: “She feels somewhat abandoned by the mental health services. They will say ‘we have done what we can – we have limited resources and it hasn’t worked’.”

Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill and Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore have said they will do all they can to help the woman.

Bohdan Solomka, Medical Director at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) said: “There are occasions when patients are discharged from an area of our services, such as secondary care, after all appropriate mental health interventions have been offered to them.

“In some cases, even after years of working closely with an individual, a patient can simply refuse to engage with the services and the treatment offered.

“If they also start to display abusive or aggressive behaviour towards staff and patients, safety also becomes an issue.

“But they can still remain aware of their decisions, have capacity to make those decisions, and they are not necessarily deemed appropriate to detain under the mental health act (MHA); their behaviour may be erratic or dangerous, but if their mental condition does not require treatment in hospital, then they cannot be detained under the MHA.”

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