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Beachy Head death: Staff at Bradgate Unit at Glenfield Hospital were alerted to woman's absence, Leicester inquest told


A proud and private woman fell to her death at Beachy Head after going missing from a secure mental health unit, her inquest has heard.

Sally Ann Vye was discovered at the foot of the Sussex cliff – a notorious suicide location – hours after her parents had called the Bradgate Unit at Glenfield Hospital, to check on her safety.

Earlier that day, her consultant psychiatrist Ashish Arora had told staff Miss Vye, 39, should be allowed between 20 to 30 minutes unsupervised "leave". But they were told to contact a senior doctor, the police and the family should she not return on time, due to her history of suicide attempts.

However, the first day of her inquest, at Leicester Town Hall yesterday, heard it was not until her parents called the hospital at 10.20pm on June 19 last year, that staff realised she was missing.

Her body was discovered the following morning.

Only 12 days before, she had been rescued on the edge of the same cliffs by members of the local chaplaincy team.

On that occasion, she had left the Bradgate Unit, where she was a voluntary patient, and taken a bus into Leicester before boarding another bus to London and on to Eastbourne.

She was detained by police and taken back to the unit under Section Two of the Mental Health Act.

Miss Vye, of Tennyson Way, Melton, was confined to the ward until she was granted limited freedoms and trips out with her parents and boyfriend.

Her father, Ronald Vye, told the inquest his daughter had lived a highly productive and full life until she was made redundant when the shoe shop, where she had been the manager for 17 years, was closed at the end of December 2011.

Mr Vye said his daughter became depressed and searched for work. He said she became very depressed when she lost the offer of a new job.

Addressing the inquest for more than three hours, he outlined what he and his wife, Marilyn, had done to encourage her to seek help.

He told of attempts she made to drown herself in Rutland Water and in the River Eye, in Melton. She also took an overdose of her anti-depressant tablets.

He said they had liaised with the community mental health teams to help her, but she resented the style of questioning of one member of the team.

Mr Vye said: "She was very compassionate but she was a proud and private person. She did not like opening up."

On one occasion when she had gone missing, he found a note left on her bed which read: "If somebody wants to kill themselves dad, you should let them do it."

He also found a map to Beachy Head in her handbag and ensured she went to the Bradgate Unit as a voluntary patient.

The hearing continues.

Beachy Head death: Staff at Bradgate Unit at Glenfield Hospital were  alerted to woman's absence, Leicester inquest told

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