Tyne & Wear

Killer Phillip Whiteman caught after Newcastle hospital escape

Phillip Whiteman
Image caption Phillip Whiteman fled the hospital through a toilet window

A convicted killer who escaped from a secure hospital in Newcastle has been re-captured.

Phillip Whiteman, 44, detained under the Mental Health Act, fled St Nicholas Hospital, a medium-security unit, in Gosforth.

He was being escorted in the hospital when he asked to go to the toilets from where he escaped, at about 10:20 GMT.

Whiteman, who killed a fellow patient at a hospital in Merseyside, was later detained in Newcastle.

The 44-year-old from Newcastle, who was previously known as Phillip Westwater, was located after a member of the public recognised him from a circulated photograph, Northumbria Police said.

Strangled inmate

"The missing man has been located safe and well in the Newcastle area," a spokeswoman said.

"Officers will be taking him back to the secure unit at St Nicholas's Hospital."

Detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act following a pub fight in 1989, Whiteman then strangled Derek Williams at Ashworth Hospital, Merseyside, with his dressing gown cord.

He admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, having become convinced his victim had turned into a black dog.

Whiteman married a nurse while he was a patient at high-security Rampton Hospital in Nottinghamshire in 2008.

Before being treated at Rampton, he had also been a patient at Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire.

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