Support worker threatened to jump off bridge

Published date: 25 February 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A MAN sectioned under the Mental Health Act after threatening to jump off a bridge later caused an affray in a psychiatric unit by brandishing a blade.

Dale Michael Edwards, 22, employed as a support worker for people with autism and other conditions, admitted an affray charge when he appeared from custody at Flintshire Magistrates Court.

The prosecution suggested there would be a risk to the public if Edwards, of Ffordd Cynan, Wrexham, were released pending sentence.

However, magistrates bailed him pending sentence but warned Edwards all options would remain open.

Matthew Ellis, prosecuting, said the police were initially called to an incident where Edwards was threatening to jump off a bridge last week.

He was detained under the Mental Health Act at the Hedfan Unit, part of the Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

A short time later he let off a fire alarm which released the doors, allowing him to leave the unit. He was detained nearby and taken back to the unit by police officers.

But at 5.20am on Saturday staff contacted the police to say Edwards had become anxious. He wanted to go outside, had kicked at doors and became aggressive towards staff.

It was alleged that he produced what appeared to be a penknife with a 2ins blade which he waved threateningly. Staff had to physically restrain him until the police attended.

Edwards later said he did not recall everything and did not feel he was in full control.

He was taking anti-psychotic medication but had not taken it on the day of the offence.

Victoria Handley, defending, said it was a sad case. It was a young man of no previous convictions who since the age of 15 had been diagnosed with mental health problems.

He was an intelligent young man who had recently been diagnosed with bipolar and he was taking quite a high level of medication, although he did forget occasionally.

Edwards forgot to take the medication on Friday, he had purchased a ‘legal high’ from a shop and he reacted to it.

He ended up at the bridge threatening to kill himself, was sectioned, went to the unit and after the incident with the fire alarms he was returned there.

In the final incident it was not a penknife but an item used for cutting up plastic at his girlfriend’s pub.

Miss Handley said she was quite surprised that after his arrest and admission that the blade should still be with his belongings.

He wanted to make entirely clear that while his behaviour was not acceptable he had no intention of harming anyone.

“He is quite appalled at what happened,” Miss Handley said.

The court heard Edwards was also following a degree course and was employed as a support worker for people with autism and other conditions including schizoffrenia.

His mother and partner were in court supporting him.

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