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Sally Hodkin murder: Killer 'had miscarriage' prior to fatal stabbing

Len Hodkin with his mother Sally Hodkin Image copyright PA
Image caption Len Hodkin with his mother Sally Hodkin, 58, who was killed by Nicola Edgington in 2011

A patient who murdered a grandmother believed she had suffered a miscarriage and was smoking cannabis in the lead up to the killing, an inquest has heard.

Nicola Edgington virtually decapitated Sally Hodkin with a stolen butcher's knife in Bexleyheath, in 2011, six years after killing her own mother.

Edgington told hospital staff she needed to be sectioned and felt like killing someone.

A recent report found NHS and police failings led to Mrs Hodkin's murder.

Edgington, a diagnosed schizophrenic, was discharged from the Bracton Centre mental health facility in 2009 despite an order she be detained indefinitely following the killing of her mother Marion in Forest Row, Sussex, in 2005.

Around two weeks before the killing on 10 October, 2011, Edgington made a number of emergency calls to police about "crackheads" stealing from her flat in early October. She had also been using skunk cannabis, the inquest heard.

On 29 September, she sent a message to her brother telling him about the miscarriage, saying she wanted to reconnect.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Nicola Edgington had been ordered to be detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act after being convicted in 2006 of killing her mother

The message also mentioned their mother, with Edgington saying: "No-one's taking care of me like she would."

Her brother replied on the same day: "You stabbed her to death and left me to find the body. Good news about your miscarriage ... do us a favour and slit your wrists."

On the day of Mrs Hodkin's murder, Edgington was taken to Oxleas House mental health unit, but was later allowed to walk out of the building.

She got a bus to Bexleyheath, bought a large knife from Asda and stole a steak knife from a butcher's shop.

Edgington then stabbed Mrs Hodkin and another woman in the street.

Elizabeth Lloyd-Folkard, a forensic social worker who was looking after Edgington, told the inquest that around a week before the killing, she had "no cause of concern about her state of mind".

Contact with family members, substance misuse, and any issues around pregnancy were noted in reports as high-risk factors that could affect Edgington's mental health, the inquest heard.

Mrs Hodkin's son Len Hodkin told the inquest: "All of those risk factors were present in the two to three weeks leading up to October 10.

"It's not coming with the benefit of hindsight, this information was available to you and other members of the multi-disciplinary team at the time."

The inquest continues.

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