Police search for schizophrenic with history of violence who has been missing for four days from Tooting unit
A paranoid schizophrenic who stabbed a stranger 20 times has gone missing from a mental health unit in Tooting for the second time.
Police are appealing for information to help trace 47-year-old Mark Ricketts who went missing four days ago, at 6pm, on Saturday, March 22, from Springfield Hospital.
Springfield Hospital in Tooting
Police say extensive efforts are underway to locate him and are advising people not to approach him and to call 999 immediately if they see him.
In 2004 a huge manhunt was launched after Ricketts escaped from Springfield Hospital on a day visit from Broadmoor, in Berkshire.
Ricketts, who was convicted of attempted murder after stabbing Mark Kemp 20 times, spent six days on the run.
An independent inquiry after his escape highlighted serious blunders by Springfield Hospital which led to his escape. The report said Springfield staff forgot about his visit to the hospital in 2004 and Broadmoor failed to confirm it.
Ricketts' victim Mr Kemp, was stabbed by him while working as a Tooting doorman in 1994, and he set up The Independent Victims' Helpline UK.
He was outraged when Ricketts was allowed to escape the first time and criticised the hospital for failing to learn lessons from the past.
A spokesman from South West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust said they were liaising with the police to ensure Mr Ricketts’ safe return.
He said: “In common with all other providers, we support recovery for all service users and a key part of this is integration with the community as much as possible.
“As a result of that on some occasions service users remain absent from wards for longer than was agreed and in such instances we have routine procedures to deal with those situations including, where relevant, informing police.”
Ricketts does not have his medication with him and police are concerned for his wellbeing.
He is described as black, 6ft 2in and of large build. At the time he went missing he was wearing a blue tracksuit top and bottoms and black trainers.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts can also speak to officers at Wandsworth CID on 0203 276 2583 or 101.
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