'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.

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Convicted killer dubbed 'Black Dog Strangler' found

The missing patient patient Philip Whiteman has been located safely and is back in a secure ward at the St Nicholas Hospital, Jubilee Road, Gosforth, Northumbria Police said.

Officers received a call from a member of the public who spotted the 44-year-old in Newcastle after recognising a photo of him. Police would like to thank everyone for their assistance in locating him.


Convicted killer escapee 'insulin dependent'

Northumbria Police's Superintendent Derek Scott told ITV Tyne Tees that Philip Whiteman, dubbed the 'Black Dog Strangler', was a "medium risk" missing person who was "insulin dependent".

Spt Scott added that there was no information he is a direct danger to the public.

The 'Black Dog Strangler' previously had the name Phillip Westwater but is now known as Philip Whiteman.

'Black Dog Strangler' also known as Philip Whiteman

Police are continuing to search for missing Newcastle man Phillip Westwater, also known as Philip Whiteman.

Mr Westwater, 44, left St Nicholas Hospital on Jubilee Road in Gosforth, Newcastle, on the morning of Wednesday January 2 where he was detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act. Northumbria Police have officers dedicated to located him and have increased patrols in the area.

He is described as white, 6' tall, of slim build with brown/grey hair. He is believed to be wearing black coloured Adidas Samba trainers, black and grey combat trousers, a black and blue jacket, black hat and gloves.

Officers are making enquiries into this individual and any risks he may or may not pose. Police have concerns for his welfare. He is diabetic and because of this he has a pump fitted and has enough insulin to last him for three days.

People are asked to contact police on the 999 emergency number if they see him and not to approach him.

– Northumbria Police


'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.

Who is the 'Black Dog Strangler'?

  • Phillip Westwater, 44, was detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act in 1989 following a pub fight where he left a man paralysed for life after slashing him across the throat with a shard of glass.
  • He later strangled a fellow patient at Ashworth Hospital, Liverpool, with his dressing gown cord after he became convinced that his victim was a black dog.
  • The 'Black Dog Strangler' married a nurse while he was a patient at high-security Rampton Hospital in 2008.
  • Westwater escaped from a secure hospital in Gosforth, Newcastle, at 10am this morning after asking to go to the toilet. He left his clothing in the toilet.
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