A MEDIC who assessed a mum just hours before she went on to kill her son says she appeared to be calm.
Melanie Ruddell was seen by Dr Clement Agbatar at the A&E department of University Hospital of Hartlepool on the evening of Sunday, August 8, 2010.
Dr Agbater, an A&E specialist, said he called a crisis team to come and see Mrs Ruddell, who later went on to strangle her son Christy.
But when it was discovered they could take up to four hours to arrive at the department, she decided to discharge herself from the unit.
Speaking at an inquest into Chrsity’s death at Sunderland Civic Centre, Dr Agbata said that when he told Mrs Ruddell it could be a number of hours before the team arrived, she “wasn’t too happy with that”.
He added: “She said: ‘Look doctor, I am not going to wait for the crisis team for that length of time’.
“She said she had left Christy for too long and desperately wanted to get back to her son.”
Asked by coroner Derek Winter if he had concerns for the welfare of Mrs Ruddell herself or her son, Dr Agbatar said: “No, I didn’t have those concerns whatsoever.”
He added that “she painted a picture of a very loving mother”, and was “quite calm” when he tended to her.
Hours after leaving hospital Mrs Ruddell killed Christy and then carried his body into Peterlee Police Station.
The inquest continues.