• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Health Trust inquiry into killer's escape

An inquiry will be held into how a convicted killer dubbed the Black Dog Strangler escaped from a secure hospital, health trust bosses said yesterday.

Phillip Westwater, 44, now known as Whiteman, left his clothes in a pile at St Nicholas Hospital, Newcastle, after asking to use the toilet during an escorted visit within the site on Wednesday.

The twice-married patient, who was detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act after paralysing a man during a pub fight in 1989, was reportedly found in a bar in the city centre's gay area after a member of the public recognised him from a photo circulated by the media.

Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust runs a medium secure unit within its St Nicholas site, and said Whiteman escaped during an escorted visit to a restaurant in another building.

A trust spokesman said: "The trust takes safety extremely seriously and strives to provide safe and therapeutic care for patients while minimising risks in relation to absconsion."

Contextual targeting label: 
Food and drink

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

133636