The inquest into the death of 2 year old Christy Ruddell has heard from medical staff at a north east hospital. Christy's mother Melanie was taken to the University Hospital of Hartlepool on Sunday 8th August 2010.
Alison Burns, who was a staff nurse at its A and E unit at the time, described how Mrs Ruddell was clinically assessed. She told the hearing that Mrs Ruddell had refused to stay any longer, in order to be seen by a specialist mental health team, because she had wanted to get back to see her son.
The hearing was told that former A and E specialist Dr Clement Agbatar performed the clinical assessment of Mrs Ruddell. He was asked by the coroner if he had concerns for the welfare of Mrs Ruddell herself or her son. Dr Agbatar said 'No, I didn't have those concerns whatsoever.' He added that 'she painted a picture of a very loving mother' and was 'quite calm'.
The doctor told the hearing that after the assessment, Mrs Ruddell had turned to him and said 'Having spoken to you I feel a lot, lot happier now. I am going to see my own GP tomorrow and take it from there.'
It was just hours after leaving hospital that Mrs Ruddell killed her son Christy while staying at her brother's house in West Rainton. She later admitted her son's manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Mrs Ruddell is receiving treatment in a secure hospital. The inquest is continuing.