'Black Dog Strangler' assessed before being escorted by staff

Convicted killer Phillip Westwater, who was dubbed the 'Black Dog Strangler', would have undergone a risk assessment before he was escorted by a member of staff, a Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said.

Patients in receipt of hospital care routinely undertake periods of planned or escorted leave as part of their treatment plans, which are designed to help in their recovery.

Before being granted leave, all patients are rigorously risk-assessed.

In the rare event that a patient does go missing, we have agreed protocols in place with our colleagues at Northumbria Police to ensure that patients are returned to hospital as quickly as possible.

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'Black Dog Strangler' found

Convicted killer Phillip Westwater, 44, who was dubbed the Black Dog Strangler, has been located safely and is back in a secure ward at the St Nicholas Hosital, Jubilee Road, Gosforth, Northumbria Police said.