Inquest jury's misadventure verdict after Leeds student's death

Katie Hamilton
Katie Hamilton

A JURY returned a misadventure verdict after a two-week inquest into the death of a Leeds University student who self ligatured while under 15-minute observations at a mental health unit.

Katie Hamilton, 26, died from a brain injury caused by lack of oxygen three days after being found with a ligature around her neck in a bedroom at the Becklin Centre in Leeds.


The jury had been told Miss Hamilton, who had a long history of self ligaturing, was admitted as an inpatient to the Becklin Centre on March 9 last year.

She was placed under 15-minute observations after being transferred from intensive care at hospital where she was being treated after swallowing amyl nitrite.


The jury was told she had made a number of attempts to self harm by self ligature while under supervision in hospital.


Returning a misadventure verdict, the jury foreman said: “On March 9 2016, while in a bedroom on ward one at the Becklin Centre, Katie Hamilton deliberately ligatured herself, but did not intend the outcome to be fatal, knowing she was on 15-minute observations and would be found.”


The inquest jury had heard Miss Hamilton was found in her room with a ligature around her neck at 10.10pm on March 9.


Staff immediately began resuscitation efforts and she taken to Leeds General Infirmary, where she died from a brain injury caused by lack of oxygen on March 12.


Miss Hamilton, who was in the final year of a philosophy and social policy degree, had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and had been admitted to the Becklin Centre at least 22 times between 2011 and 2016.

After the hearing, Joanna Forster-Adams, chief operating officer for Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Becklin Centre, said: “ We offer our condolences to Katie’s mother and family and assure them that we have looked very carefully at what we can learn from her death."

A pioneering Leeds unit which helps new mums dealing with post-natal depression. Pictured Bronwen Ashton, who was a service user and is now a volunteer, helping others going through a difficult time with their babies.

How Leeds nurses and ex-patients are offering a way out of the darkness for mums with postnatal depression