GP didn't receive note on mum's mental health before she killed twins

Medics’ letter revealing mother Samantha Ford’s suicidal thoughts did not get to GP before she drowned her twins, inquest hears

  • Samantha Ford killed her twin children Jake and Chloe on Boxing Day in 2018
  • She told mental health workers she felt suicidal after splitting from her husband
  • A letter on her condition did not reach her GP by the time they met for a check up
  • Instead her GP prescribed anti-depressants, days before she would kill the twins 

A medics’ letter revealing Samantha Ford’s suicidal thoughts failed to reach her GP just days before she drowned her twins, an inquest has heard.

Ford, 39, killed her children Jake and Chloe at her home in Margate, Kent, on Boxing Day 2018, after splitting from their father, Steven Ford, a few months beforehand.

She was sentenced to spend 10 years at a psychiatric unit last August after prosecutors accepted her plea of manslaughter by diminished responsibility.

An inquest into the death of Jake and Chloe heard how a crucial letter giving an update on Ford’s mental health failed to reach her GP.   

A crucial letter regarding the mental health of Samantha Ford, who killed her twin children Jake and Chloe on Boxing Day 2018, failed to be added to her doctors notes just days before their deaths, an inquest has heard

An inquest, at County Hall in Maidstone, heard she was suffering an acute stress reaction to the failure of her marriage with long-term partner Steven Ford. 

The inquest was told Ford had previously seen the Insight mental health team who had sent a letter to the surgery on December 14 warning that she had suicidal thoughts but this had not been put in her GP’s notes on the practice system.

Dr Robert Immelman, from the Charing Practice, near Ashford, told a coroner how he had a consultation with Ford on December 21 – a week after the letter from Insight mental health had been sent.

The doctor said Ford requested her anti-depressant prescription be extended as she was having trouble sleeping.  

He added: ‘During the conversation, she came across quite calm and focused, my overall impression was she wasn’t agitated or distressed.’

Dr Immelman said that if he had seen the letter ‘the consultation would have taken a completely different pathway, instead of the consultation being a prescription request, I would have been going down a mental health assessment risk-assessment pathway’.

Coroner Christopher Sutton-Mattocks said: ‘What I am interested in is how it came about that a letter such as that sent to the practice doesn’t find its way to the GP who then comes to speak to her.’

The coroner said that the Fords had met in 2004 before moving to Dubai and then Doha, Qatar, until they moved back to Kent in February 2018 and they separated in the following autumn.

Mr Sutton-Mattocks said: ‘Steven says as far he was aware neither he or anyone else in Samantha’s family had any serious concerns about her mental health to the extent that they would suspect her harming the children or herself.

Dr Robert Immelman said the consultation with Ford, who split from her husband Steven earlier that year, ‘would have taken a completely different pathway’ had he received a letter detailing her suicidal thoughts 

‘If he had suspected Samantha of harming the children he would never have left them alone with her and in his view Samantha’s family would have intervened if they had any such suspicion.

‘Steven’s own view is that Samantha’s killing of the children is an act of revenge on her husband.

‘Steven is devastated by the death of his children.’

Samantha’s mother Collette Emptage said in a statement that her daughter had not wanted to move back to the UK from Qatar and she worsened after she moved into rental accommodation with the children.

Describing the death of the children, Mr Sutton-Mattocks said: ‘Samantha undressed both of the children, put them in the bath and held them under the water.

‘She then removed them from the bath, dressed them in nappies and baby grows and placed them in bed.’

The hearing continues.

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