An Antiques Roadshow expert, who died after suffering from postnatal psychosis, had such severe delusions she believed her five-week-old baby was talking to her, an inquest heard. Alice Gibson-Watt, died in hospital following a psychotic episode at her home in November 2012, during which she was restrained by five people.
Her inquest today heard from Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Miriam Barrett, from the North West London Mental Health Trust, who assessed the jewellery expert. She said: “When she spoke with us she appeared quite rational and normal, but underneath she was showing in her thinking there were delusions. “She was convinced that she was communicating with her baby and the baby could communicate with her.
The baby was part of her delusions and that is where the risk arose.” West London Coroner’s Court heard the 34-year-old, who worked at Sotheby’s, had suffered a ruptured liver and internal bleeding in November 2012 following the birth of her daughter, Chiara Charlotte, a month earlier. The inquest was told her mother Miranda Phillimore was called by her son-in-law to her daughter’s home after the ambulance crew arrived at the scene on the evening of November 13.
After being carried from the house to the ambulance she fought “like a tigress” with members of the emergency services. She told the court she arrived to find her daughter in the back of the ambulance and said: “She was alarmingly strapped down with five people holding her down at the time. “The light inside was very bright. She knew who I was but she was very anxious about her baby. “The police and the ambulance staff were holding her down.
Each person was holding a leg or an arm.” The inquest also heard from several paramedics who attended the scene and treated Alice and her baby daughter. Describing how the first time mum had to be carried out of the house by her shoulders and legs, paramedic Suzanne Elias, who was holding baby Chiara, said: “She was very distressed, she was shouting, ‘My baby is dead’. PC Sue Thomson was one of the officers who restrained Alice, in the back of the ambulance outside her home and on the way to the hospital.
Describing the journey the officer said: “She was very concerned about her child and would demand to see her baby and said she was dead.” She said at one point “it appeared she was trying to bite out at someone’s arms”. The inquest continues.