Psychologist’s view on reaction to death

IPSWICH: A psychologist has revealed why the death of a 30-year-old father allegedly involved in a burglary has prompted such a strong reaction among the public.

Since Johnathan Ehlert was electrocuted and sustained fatal burns while apparently breaking into a sub station at Ransomes Way, Ipswich, on April 14, people have provided differing views on the tragedy.

His family were distraught after a shrine set up at the site was stolen and in its place a wooden crucifix was left with the word “justice” and drawings of electricity bolts.

Evening Star readers appear to have polarised views on the tragedy, with some leaving messages on the website saying that regardless of what people think, he was still someone’s son, and others adopting a more unsympathetic view.Anna Vizor, consultant clinical psychologist and director of a course in cognitive therapy for Suffolk Mental Health Partnership Trust, explained that people’s reactions to issues like this differ greatly.

Ms Vizor said: “The theory of cognitive therapy is that it is not the event itself, it is the way you understand the event that influences your reaction to it. You would get a range of responses from this type of event. Some see the event as about a criminal and others would say it is about a person.By the time we become adults we have got all kinds of experiences. We have got different cultural backgrounds and have general rules. We also live within families and our own communities and have our own way of thinking about things.”


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Mr Ehlert’s younger brother, Mark Vince, who helped while Mr Ehlert was on fire at the substation, was arrested on suspicion of burglary. The 24-year-old has been bailed to return to Ipswich police station on Friday, June 4

Two other men, Adam Head, 30, and Frank Day, 27, both from Ipswich were arrested on suspicion of burglary. They have also been bailed until June 4.

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n What’s your view? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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