North West Wales

Girl, 15, 'released from unit despite self-harming'

Menai suspension bridge Image copyright Google

A 15-year-old girl was discharged from a mental health unit despite "self-harming and having murderous thoughts", an inquest has heard.

Josie James, of Clwt y Bont, near Caernarfon, fell to her death from the Menai suspension bridge in August 2015.

The Caernarfon inquest heard she had told a friend she was going to jump off the bridge just hours before she died.

Her mother Joy James was critical about aspects of her daughter's care and said she wanted lessons learned.

The inquest heard that on the day of Josie's death, she had visited a friend who was a patient at Ysbyty Gwynedd, saying she was going to jump off the bridge.

The alarm was raised immediately but she had already gone over the side.

Pathologist Dr Mark Lord said she died from a ruptured major artery due to a fall from a height and said she would have died on impact.

'Didn't feel safe'

Mrs James detailed the family's agony during her daughter's worsening mental health problems.

She said Josie had started to change in 2012 when she said she could hear voices and became manic hyperactive and began self-harming.

For 18 months, she was involved with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

In 2015 Josie asked to be taken to hospital "because she didn't feel safe" and later became an inpatient at an adolescent mental health unit in Abergele.

But she said the family was then "stunned" to be told Josie would be discharged in four weeks, after she was judged as being "not suicidal nor at risk of self harm".

Mrs James said the family had been told there would be no community support package and she felt hopeless and helpless.

She told assistant coroner Nicola Jones: "As a family we have no interest in pointing the finger at any individual. We just want lessons to be learned."

The inquest continues.

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