Ipswich woman who took her life day after seeing doctor “pulled wool over eyes of professionals”

IP - City Centre, Ipswich

IP - City Centre, Ipswich

An Ipswich woman who had battled with mental health difficulties had “pulled the wool over the eyes of the professionals treating her” the day before she was found dead in her home, a coroner has said.

Jodie Pilgrim, 31, took her own life on March 25 this year, just one day after a professional had deemed her not to be in immediate risk of suicide.

In the months leading up to her death, Miss Pilgrim had been admitted to The Woodlands unit, run by the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust mental health service, on several occasions, including on Christmas Day.

On New Years Eve she was arrested for assaulting her aunt in Clacton and, on January 6 when two mental health nurses visited Miss Pilgrim to address concerns about her mental health, she assaulted them. She was subsequently charged with assault for both cases.

On March 21, Miss Pilgrim was disturbed during a suicide attempt by a family member.

She had told her doctor, Dr Weatherley, that she felt “hopeless and despairing” but had not had thoughts of harming herself, and had told her family that she was scared about going to court on April 5 and April 14 for the assault charges.

A statement written by Dr Weatherley and read at the inquest said: “I did not believe that Hodie was at risk of making another suicide attempt in the short term. I did not believe that Miss Pilgrim was psychotic.”

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On concluding the inquest at Ip-City Centre last week, Coroner Kevin McCarthy said: “The attempt on the 21st March appeared to be an impulsive act with no clear suicide intent.

“Dr Weatherley didn’t believe she was in immediate risk of suicide, but there was a risk in the longer term if she didn’t get [support]. It’s crucial to say at that time he did not believe there was a real and present risk that she would commit suicide.”

No elicit drugs or alcohol were in Miss Pilgrim’s system at the time of her death.

“Jodie, who has a very caring family, [was] a lady who had suffered with this terrible diagnosis for many years and who had attempted suicide before,” said Mr McCarthy. “She had pulled the wool over the eyes of the professionals treating her.

“I am not at all certain whether she was sectionable, and that would be the only way to prevent this death.

“For reasons which we will never know completely she decided on the 25th March she was going to do what she did.”

Mr McCarthy recorded a verdict of suicide, and upon concluding said to her family members present: “You have got some wonderful memories, I’m sure, of the lady she really was behind this awful illness.”