Tyne & Wear

Newcastle gun killer David Bradley's care 'shortcomings'

David Bradley
Image caption David Bradley had served in the first Gulf War and Bosnia

A report into the care of a Tyneside ex-soldier who shot four members of his family in 2006, has found failings in the mental health care he received.

David Bradley, 41, killed Peter and Josie Purcell, both 70, and their sons Keith, 44, and Glen, 41, in Newcastle.

He was sentenced to a minimum term of 15 years after admitting manslaughter.

A report into his care has found risks associated with his behaviour were not identified and there was a lack of communication between agencies.

At his trial it emerged Bradley had killed his aunt, uncle and cousins with a silenced pistol after "flipping out" at their home in Benwell Grove on 8 July 2006.

'Hot and bothered'

Bradley, who was a heavy cannabis user, lived as a virtual recluse in the bedroom of the house he shared with his four victims.

On 8 July, after complaining of feeling "hot and bothered", he began smashing up his room before fighting with his cousin Keith.

He used a pistol which he had smuggled into the UK from Bosnia while serving in the Army to shoot Keith, and then killed his uncle who was asleep on the sofa.

His aunt and cousin Glen were shot at point-blank range when they returned home later that night.

Image caption Bradley told his trial that he exchanged cigarettes for the pistol in Bosnia

A report into the treatment he was receiving from then Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust, found a number of "shortcomings" in his care, although his final actions could not have been predicted, it concludes.

Among 17 recommendations, the report, carried out by two health specialists and a barrister, calls for better awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, more detailed risk assessments of vulnerable patients as well as better communication and record keeping.

Prof Aiden Mulolan, Director of Patient Safety at the North East Strategic Health Authority, said: "First and foremost, our deepest sympathies go the extended family of Mr Bradley.

"This appalling incident has undoubtedly been particularly harrowing for them and there are absolutely no excuses for the shortcomings in the care that was provided to David."

Barrister Euan Duff, who chaired the independent panel, added: "Whilst it is evident that the final catastrophic outcome could not have been predicted, there were a number of shortcomings in the care which he was provided at various stages.

"If none of those shortcomings had been present it may well have altered the sequence of events, which in turn may have led to a different outcome."

Bradley is currently detained at Rampton secure hospital in Nottinghamshire.

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