Charlotte Bevan walked out of St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol with her four-day-old baby on Tuesday night. She was declared missing. There were appeals from the Police, and her partner, for her to get in touch. The next day, the bodies of Ms Bevan and her baby were discovered in the Avon gorge, close to where she lived in Clifton. She had apparently suffered from depression for some years.
What's so f***ing wrong with kicking the NHS and social workers, c***?!? Er, with the greatest of respect, Mr Jay
The tragic sequence of events, although reported faithfully at the time, has now become the basis for the press to begin the blame game. And there is no more adept, ruthless, and utterly unprincipled exponent of this art than the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, who has duly set the Daily Mail on anyone, and everyone, who can be found wanting by application of 20/20 hindsight.
News of Ms Bevan’s death emerged on Thursday; the next day the why-oh-why began in earnest. “'They just let her walk straight out': Friends of depressed mother who died with her baby after fleeing hospital demand to know why staff failed to stop them” howled the headline, as a succession of groups put forward someone who knew better than the rotten lefty NHS.
Facebook was trawled More adverse comment was extracted and duly published. Readers were told that “a spokesman for the hospital trust that treated Miss Bevan said its patients are 'free to come and go' if they are not subjected to legal restrictions. Its wards do not monitor CCTV footage or fit newborns with electronic tags”. And today has come a ramping up of the campaign.
“The depressed mother who was found dead this week in the Avon Gorge feared her baby daughter would be taken away from her, it has been claimed. Charlotte Bevan, 30, was ‘closely monitored’ during her pregnancy and had reportedly been referred to social workers on three occasions in the run-up to her baby Zanni Tiana being born”. And there was more of the same.
“A source said it caused the new mother - who was believed to be suffering from depression, schizophrenia and severe sleep deprivation when she left the hospital - to develop fears that her newborn child would be taken into care”. And so the Mail has the narrative on one of its favourite grounds – social worker bashing. And, don’t forget, the hated BBC did a series on Bristol’s social workers not long ago.
Do we have a pundit to reinforce the message? You betcha, says Sarah: the Mail’s Glenda Emeritus Amanda Platell has been sent over the top by the Vagina Monologue to tell of “A mother's suicide that shames all of us”. Why didn’t someone stop her? Why did no-one call the Police? “Everyone who saw her on that last journey let her down” she rants. As if the Mail gives a damn.
Leaving families to grieve? Not while the Mail has its own twisted agenda to pursue.