Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: 1°C

Search

Newmarket grandmother, 56, set herself on fire on mental health ward, inquest told

PUBLISHED: 16:39 06 November 2017 | UPDATED: 19:29 06 November 2017

Heather Loveridge with some of her grandchildren. Picture: FAMILY HANDOUT/PA WIRE

Heather Loveridge with some of her grandchildren. Picture: FAMILY HANDOUT/PA WIRE

A Suffolk grandmother with a history of burning herself was found engulfed in flames on a mental health ward after she set herself on fire with a cigarette lighter in her handbag, an inquest heard.

Heather Loveridge (right), with her daughter, also called Heather Loveridge, and two grandchildren Connor, nine, and Mercedes, five. Picture: FAMILY HANDOUT/PA WIRE Heather Loveridge (right), with her daughter, also called Heather Loveridge, and two grandchildren Connor, nine, and Mercedes, five. Picture: FAMILY HANDOUT/PA WIRE

Cambridgeshire’s assistant coroner Belinda Cheney said it appeared Heather Loveridge’s handbag was not searched on admission to the Cavell Centre mental health unit in Peterborough, and was returned to her.

Mrs Loveridge, 56, of Newmarket, was found ablaze in her bedroom’s en-suite toilet within a day of being voluntarily admitted to the ward.

She died two days later on August 19, 2016 at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, which has a specialist burns unit.

The inquest heard staff were alerted when the fire alarm sounded shortly before 8am on August 17, 2016.

Ms Cheney said: “Staff investigated and found Mrs Loveridge had set fire to herself in the toilet of her bedroom and her hair and clothes were on fire.”

Mrs Loveridge, who had psychotic depression, was taken to hospital but did not recover from her injuries.

“It’s accepted that she used her cigarette lighter to set fire to herself,” said Ms Cheney.

Mrs Loveridge’s daughter, also called Heather Loveridge, told a jury inquest at Huntingdon Town Hall that her mother had set herself alight in a previous incident in February 2013.

Her mother was an inpatient at Fulbourn Hospital mental health facility near Cambridge when the incident happened and she suffered burns to her chest.

Miss Loveridge said she had asked for reassurance from the Cavell Centre that the same thing wouldn’t be allowed to happen again.

But she said the family later had a phone call “saying there had been an incident and mum had set fire to herself again”.

Miss Loveridge added: “She would have had in her handbag a lighter and cigarettes as she was a smoker.”

Dr Kris Owden, a registrar at the Cavell Centre, was asked by coroner Ms Cheney if people are allowed to have lighters on psychiatric wards. He replied: “No.”

The Cavell Centre is run by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.

The inquest, which is estimated to last three days, continues.

A new charity has launched in Suffolk tonight – and what they are hoping to do has attracted the support of Ipswich mayor Sarah Barber and the county’s gaming community.

An investigation is due to begin into the cause of a fire which broke out in a high rise block of flats in Ipswich.

At least two people have been injured in a blaze which broke out in a high rise block of flats in Ipswich this evening.

Police have officially stood down their response to an incident in central London.

Ipswich council’s executive is set to confirm the compulsory purchase of two homes in the town on Tuesday.

Two children witnessed a man committing a lewd act in an Ipswich park, police have revealed.

Witnesses are being sought after cash and jewellery were stolen during a daytime burglary in Capel St Mary.

Beloved family pet dog Toby, a four-year-old black sprocker spaniel, has been missing in the Kersey area of Suffolk for over a week.

Suffolk police are appealing for help from the public to find a missing Ipswich teenager.

Police have named a 23-year-old man from Ipswich who died in a crash in Long Melford on Wednesday.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24