Saturday, 31 July 2010

Dangerous man missing: Police issue public warning

Police are appealing for help in tracing a man who has absconded from a secure mental health unit in central London. Timothy Saunders, [03.09.69 - 40 years] went missing on Thursday 29 July from the Hammersmith and Fulham Mental Health unit attached to Charing Cross hospital in Fulham Palace Road, W6

It is believed he still could be in the capital and has contacts in the City of London.

Officers have advised members of the public not to approach him but to call 999 immediately.

He is a black male, around 5ft 9ins and of large build. He was wearing a blue and white Argentina jersey with blue jeans and white trainers.

On January 27 2010, Saunders was convicted at West London Magistrates'court of assaulting a police officer in June 2009.

He was made subject to a Hospital Order (under the Mental Health Act). Anyone who may have seen him or has information on his whereabouts should call Enfield Police on 0300 123 1212; if you wish to remain anonymous please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. For an immediate sighting, please call 999.

SUNDAY UPDATE: The BBC is reporting on this story here. Police have released the above photo. Local media in H&F still yet to report the story at all.

MONDAY UPDATE: The Fulham Chronicle has caught up at last here

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: He's back in custody, courtesy of a family member. A spokesperson for the Mental Health Trust says this:

"The patient was routinely prescribed leave twice weekly for up to two hours under supervision of a family member, and was also prescribed leave to take part in a walking group.
“The patient did not return to the ward after one of his leave sessions, at which a staff member phoned the family member he was on leave with. The family member advised us that the patient was no longer with them so staff reacted professionally, following the procedures put in place for an incident of this kind. Staff filed a missing persons report with the police to assist them in finding the patient.
“The patient was returned to the ward this morning by a family member."


  1. You'd think they'd have sent you a picture! Without it, if he's changed his Argentina jersey, there's no way to spot him.

  2. they didnt even send me an email - I got it from the central Met HQ press operation. The local one marks everything as "if asked" - so you have to know something's up. Great way of keeping locals in the picture - hence the reason for more than one source!

  3. ".......Saunders was convicted at West London Magistrates'court of assaulting a police officer in June 2009" so what at least the cop is not dead like Tomlinson, de Menezes etc etc. This sort of reporting feeds in to the notion that ALL people with mental health issues unpredictable violent nutter, unlike the filth at the MET.

  4. appreciate the high emotions but any more comments like that about anyone and I will switch comment moderation back on.

  5. Hi Chris
    I am sorry if I offended you, that was not my intention. I originally started to read your blog because of the excellent comment you make about cycling in the borough. I was surprised when I read the piece you put up about the man who’d absconded from Charring Cross Hospitals secure unit. From what you reported it gave the impression that a dangerous mentally ill individual had escaped and was on the loose. Nothing was said about the guys risk history only that he had assaulted a police officer. This is most likely to have happened during a period that he was unwell or was being forcibly restrained so it’s best to not jump to the conclusion that he is a dangerous individual who is a genuine risk. He was in fact on escorted leave with a family member, which means if he was allowed off the ward there would have been a full and comprehensive risk assessment completed before this could happen.

    What I read made me angry because it contributes to the myth that all people with mental health issues are dangerous, violent and unpredictable. The statistics show that people with mental health issues are far more likely to harm themselves before they harm you or me. I can vouch for this having spent the last twenty years working in mental health services. I have been assaulted and threatened on more occasions by people in the street without the label of mentally ill than I have in a work situation. In fact I can only recall two incidents in all the time I’ve worked with unwell people and one of those situations was avoidable and very early on in my career.

    If you choose to censor comments that is your choice, but please don’t put up sensationalist nonsense about mental health or anything else for that matter and expect to not be challenged on it. I can get that from reading the Daily Mail. If you are interested in reporting in a more balanced manner about mental health then might I suggest you contact the Mental Health Media or national Mind in Stratford for a copy of the guidelines on fair and accurate reporting about the subject.

  6. Dear "Anonomous" - I wouldn't call referring to the Police as "filth" particularly balanced or fair. In fact I'd say it was pretty dumb.

    Which is a shame because the rest of your points are fair enough.

  7. I have to agree with Anonymous, sensationalist reporting at its worst.

    Journalists must have been ejaculating in their pants when Met Police dropped that release in their inboxes. Not only a mental patient 'on the run', but a black mental patient 'on the run'!.

    This is why I do not buy or read rags like Daily Mail or Daily Express. Still, maybe this blog's target audience is the white middle-class 'outraged' types that would purchase those publications.

  8. I love the way people are really brave in their comments on blogs, but never quite so brave to actually use their names ...

  9. I won’t bore you with detailed information about the unjust policing I have been at the receiving end of after twenty five years being involved in various political campaigns, suffice to say the unaccountable manner that they choose operate makes it perfectly acceptable for me to refer them as the filth.

  10. chris why is it our are so obsessed with people putting their name on comments? what difference does it make? There are perfectly acceptable reasons why people don't put names on stuff that's in the public domain.

  11. i just think its a bit cowardly to come on here, rant at me, call me a daily mail apologist and not have the guts to put your name to it. it speaks volumes.

  12. So you see this as a rant, Why is that? I did not call you a Daily Mail apologist but when your reporting is of the same crass style as the Daily Mail you should not be surprised when people make the comparison.

    I am not going to apologise for not putting my name to this and I am not going to explain the reasons for this, just try to accept it and move on. There really is more important stuff to get your knickers in a twist about!

  13. I think people will draw their own conclusions as to why a ranting blog commenter, who sees fit to call the police "filth" and regards anyone who doesn't agree with them as "crass" and akin to the Daily Mail - is too gutless to put their name to any of their rantings.. and can i suggest you go and do something else now?