Woman fell to her death after leaving London hospital

A LONDONER jumped from Beachy Head after many years of paranoid psychosis, an inquest has heard.

Amita Patel, of Olaves Gardens, South East London, took her own life on July 15, 2010 and an inquest into her death was held at Eastbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday (April 21).

The 52-year-old Indian social worker died from multiple injuries when she plunged from the cliff tops after leaving Lambeth Hospital, where she was staying as a psychiatric in-patient.

Coroner Alan Craze was told Ms Patel had a long history of mental illness and would often hear voices.

Her sister Uma Rhodes, who lives in New Zealand, said, “The voices tormented her and were an unwelcome companion.

“She tried to live with the voices but struggled constantly, sometimes day and night.”

The coroner heard Ms Patel had made numerous attempts to take her life in the past including overdosing on painkillers and jumping in to the Thames in 2003.

However, her friends and family said she was a very clever woman who campaigned for the rights of those suffering with mental illness, and as a result was good at hiding her true feelings.

Ms Patel was admitted to hospital as an inpatient voluntarily on July 6 but on July 12 she was allowed out to see her private psychotherapist on her own. She returned to the hospital on that occasion but went out two days later for the same reason but never returned.

Hospital staff, who said she seemed chatty and well presented the last time they saw her, reported her missing and she was later found by Hailsham man Jason Hull who was running along the beach towards the Beachy Head Lighthouse.

Notes, suggesting she had taken her life, were found near Ms Patel’s hospital bed and at her flat.

Mr Craze recorded a verdict of suicide.