University worker told police he ‘wanted to kill himself’ hours before allegedly killing his wife, inquest hears
PUBLISHED: 18:09 11 April 2019 | UPDATED: 19:33 11 April 2019
A University of Suffolk worker suspected of fatally stabbing his wife told police just hours before his death that he wanted to kill himself, an inquest heard.
Katherine Kemp, 31, who worked at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, was stabbed 28 times in Siloam Place on August 6. Police are treating her death as murder.
Her husband Thomas Kemp, 32, also died at the scene and his death is not being treated as suspicious by police.
During the second day of an inquest at Suffolk Coroner’s Court looking into the circumstances surround the deaths of the couple, the court heard how police received information just before 3am on August 6 saying a man was threatening to harm himself with a knife.
They attended the property to find Mr and Mrs Kemp there. A large kitchen knife was on the floor next to Mr Kemp’s feet.
Pc Andrew Overton, who was one of the first on scene, said that they were both “calm and matter of fact” but Mr Kemp looked “exhausted”.
Pc Overton said that he spoke to Mr Kemp when he first arrived. He had told the officer that he “wanted to kill himself”.
Officers decided to take the couple to the emergency department and left them at the doors, watched them walk them to the front desk and then left.
Mr and Mrs Kemp were then dealt with by medical staff and referred to the mental health crisis response team.
However, the team decided that they did not believe that Mr Kemp would benefit from a face to face assessment.
Following a call he made to the psychiatric liaison service the previous day, there was already a plan for him to be contacted during the morning of August 6 and previous notes listed him as not high risk so he was allowed to leave at around 5am.
Triage nurse Maria Tabar said she assessed Mr Kemp as high risk and told the mental health crisis team, which is based elsewhere on the hospital site, in a phone call.
Mental health nurse Indardaye Ramroop-Dip, who answered the call, said she was not told Mr Kemp was high risk and a decision was taken to discharge him.
Ms Tabar said she later saw some staff from the crisis team in A&E and claimed they “were laughing at the manhood of Mr Kemp”. The crisis team deny this happened.
Four hours after they were discharged, police were called again and they were both pronounced dead.
Yesterday the court heard from mental health worker Chantal Eoche-Duval, who assessed Mr Kemp after the “meltdown”.
She said he told her he had serious body confidence issues and had been on the “receiving end of jokes and digs about it”.
He told her he had seen escorts for reassurance, she said.
Psychiatric nurse Julie Murphy said that in a separate assessment in July 2018, Mr Kemp appeared to be suffering from a “high level of anxiety”.
He had previously said to his mother that “living with mental health issues was a living hell”.
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