Database check would not have stopped Nicola Edgington’s actions, says Met
15:25 05 March 2013
The hospital Nicola Edgington was taken to shortly before she brutally murdered a grandmother had told police they had the situation under control, the Metropolitan Police said today.
Bexleyheath killer Edgington was able to walk out of Queen Elizabeth Hospital Woolwich despite making a number of 999 calls in which she warned she was going to kill someone.
Met area commander for south-east London, Neil Basu, said that police control room staff had made contact with Queen Elizabeth Hospital Woolwich after Edgington made her repeated calls to the police from the hospital.
But when they called the hospital they were advised there was no need for police attendance.
Commander Basu said the hospital had told police its security “had the matter in hand”.
In a statement - a response to yesterday’s independent police complaints commission (IPCC) report - he added that a Police National Computer check on Edgington would not have prevented her murder of grandmother Sally Hodkin.
Yesterday’s IPCC report criticised the Met for not carrying out such a check, which it said would have highlighted Edgington’s previous conviction for manslaughter.
But Commander Basu denied this would have been enough to save Mrs Hodkin, who was almost decapitated by Edgington.
He said: “The officers acted on the facts in front of them, which they do on a regular basis every day. A PNC [police national computer] check alone would not have prevented the actions that Edgington subsequently took.”
Edgington was sentenced to at least 37 years in jail yesterday for murdering Mrs Hodkin - and also received another life sentence, to be served concurrently, for attempting to murder Kerry Clark, then 22.
Commander Basu also said that although the IPCC made no recommendations relating to police misconduct they would review its findings.
He added: “Once again our thoughts remain with the family of Sally Hodkin and with Kerry Clark.”