Antiques Roadshow expert died after psychotic episode, inquest hears

Alice Gibson-WattImage copyright

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Alice Gibson-Watt gave birth to her first child in 2012

An Antiques Roadshow expert who died after suffering suspected post-partum psychosis had to be restrained by five police and ambulance personnel, an inquest has heard.

Alice Gibson-Watt fought like a “tigress” as she was taken to hospital, her mother Miranda Phillimore said.

The 34-year-old had given birth to her daughter Chiara, her first child, in October 2012, four weeks previously.

The inquest will look at how she was restrained and if that caused injury.

Her husband, Anthony Gibson-Watt, told the inquest on Tuesday his wife suddenly became hysterical one evening at their home in Fulham, west London.

She began screaming and wailing, before picking up Chiara and shaking her, shouting that her baby was dead, he said.

He said he believed she was suffering from post-partum psychosis, a severe mental illness that can cause women who have given birth to have hallucinations and delusional thinking.

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BBC Antiques Roadshow

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Alice Gibson-Watt was an Antiques Roadshow expert and a jewellery specialist for Sotheby’s

Mrs Gibson-Watt, a jewellery specialist for Sotheby’s, was eventually taken to a specialist mental health unit at West Middlesex Hospital, but she suffered a cardiac arrest and an injury to her liver. She died a few days later.

Her husband told the court: “She was enthralled by motherhood. One day I will tell Chiara about her wonderful mother.

“I just hope we can get to the truth of her passing.”

The inquest at at Westminster Coroner’s Court is expected to last until the end of the month.

What is post-partum psychosis?

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Postpartum Psychosis includes one or more of the following:

• Strange beliefs that could not be true (delusions)

• Hearing, seeing, feeling or smelling things that are not there (hallucinations)

• High mood with loss of touch with reality (mania)

• Severe confusion

Other common symptoms include having racing thoughts, behaving out of character and having trouble sleeping among others.

For more information advice and support visit the Action on Postpartum Psychosis website

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