Experts were involved with Needham case

MENTAL health experts had been involved in the care of a man thought to have stabbed himself to death at his Suffolk home, it was revealed today.The man, in his thirties, was fatally wounded in an incident in Ludbrook Close, Needham Market at about 6am on Friday.

MENTAL health experts had been involved in the care of a man thought to have stabbed himself to death at his Suffolk home, it was revealed today.

The man, in his thirties, was fatally wounded in an incident in Ludbrook Close, Needham Market at about 6am on Friday.

It is the second time in little more than a year officers have been called to the address, where Florence Weston lives with her son, Christopher Carroll.

On the afternoon of July 26 last year, police in riot gear were called to the cul-de-sac after residents reported seeing objects being thrown from the man's garden.

It developed into a five-hour stand-off after Mr Carroll barricaded himself in his bathroom, having smashed windows, banged his head against a brick wall and hurled garden furniture and other items.

The man, who was escorted away wearing just a towel, was detained under the Mental Health Act and taken to St Clement's Hospital.

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A spokesman for the Suffolk Mental Health Partnership said the members of his organisation were helping police with their investigation into the incident.

He was unable to comment on the care given to Mr Carroll.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council confirmed social workers had also been involved in the care of the man, between February and September 2001.

He added there had been no involvement in the last three years.

The police cordon around the bungalow was removed over the weekend, with investigations continuing into the death.

This is being led by the Independent Police Complaints Commission after it was confirmed Suffolk officers spoke to the man prior to his death. This is normal practise in such situations.

Police have still yet to formally confirm the identity of the dead man, although a coroner's inquest is set to be opened shortly.

Meanwhile, a baker has told how his car overturned as he tried to avoid hitting the man, who seemingly stabbed himself to death minutes later.

Lloyd Keeling, 19, was driving to work in Tesco, Stowmarket, when he saw him come running towards him on the old A45 at Badley Hill, Stowmarket Road, near Needham Market.

Mr Keeling, of Chainhouse Road, Needham Market, said: "I was doing about 40 to 45mph and I saw this man who had no shoes or socks on and he just kept running towards me. I swerved because he was not going to get out of the road and that was when my car hit the little verge, skidded on the side and flipped over.

"As I skidded along I thought 'I just hope I get out of this'. My initial thought was that there had been an accident and he wanted help. I had slowed down a bit but then he kept running at me and I had to swerve.

"I climbed out of the passenger window with an elbow gushing with blood and I saw this bloke still running and screaming. At the bottom of the hill he was banging on the bonnet of a car."

His car, a Renault Clio, was taken away by police conducting an investigation into the death of a man.

He was found dead a short time later in the back garden of the semi-detached home. He died from one stab wound and his death is not being treated as suspicious.

His elderly mother was treated at Ipswich Hospital for a head injury, although she has now been released.

Mr Carroll is believed to have abandoned an Astra van on Badley Hill and he was walking back towards Needham Market when he was narrowly missed by Mr Keeling.

Mr Keeling received treatment at the scene from an ambulance crew. But they were then diverted to Ludbrook Close after reports of a stabbing and Mr Keeling was taken to Ipswich Hospital by his grandmother Josephine Francis, of Quinton Road, Needham Market.

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