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BBC antiques expert died after psychotic episode, inquest hears

A jewellery Roadshow expert Alice Gibson-Watt, died after restrained by medics during a ‘postpartum’ psychotic episode five weeks after giving birth, a court has heard.

The psychotic episode that struck Alice Gibson-Watt, 34, resulted in delusions so severe she believed her five week old baby was communicating with her telepathically.

The inquest at west London coroner’s court that began on Tuesday will determine whether the way Gibson-Watt was restrained while being taken to hospital injured her.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Miriam Barrett, of the North West London mental health trust, told “She was convinced that she was communicating with her baby and the baby could communicate with her,” Barrett said. “The baby was part of her delusions and that is where the risk arose.”

PC Sue Thomson said, she then had a “normal conversation” with Gibson-Watt before she told her “she could hear the baby speaking to her and it was saying to her that it was dead”

Gibson-Watt was transferred to an intensive care unit at Kings College hospital in south London, where she died on 20 November 2012.

Alice Gibson-Watt fought like a “tigress” as she was taken to hospital, her mother Miranda Phillimore said.

On Wednesday, the jury heard from police officers who went to Mrs Gibson-Watt’s home in Fulham, west London, in response to a 999 call from her husband, Anthony Gibson-Watt, in November 2012.

Her husband Anthony Gibson-Watt described the ‘deeply traumatic’ events when his wife began crawling around on all fours and screaming her daughter Chiara Charlotte wasn’t safe and was dead.

Her husband told the court: “She was enthralled by motherhood”. He said “he believed she was suffering from post-partum psychosis, a severe mental illness that can cause women who have given birth to have hallucinations and delusional thinking”.

Senior coroner Chinyere Inyama said: “We should be hearing evidence around the restraint episodes from the London Ambulance Service and police before admission to hospital.”

The inquest is expected to continue until late April.

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