Worthing mental health trust slammed in report after Littlehampton stabbing

Samuel Reid-Wentworth who attacked Lucy Yates in 2008
Samuel Reid-Wentworth who attacked Lucy Yates in 2008

INVESTIGATORS have criticised Worthing mental health workers who missed three major opportunities to identify dangerous Samuel Reid-Wentworth before his attack on Lucy Yates in a Littlehampton supermarket.

Lucy, now 23, was left for dead after Reid-Wentworth launched a frenzied attack on her while she was shopping at the former Somerfield store, in Anchor Springs, in 2008.

Her heart stopped beating on three occasions after she was stabbed 21 times by the paranoid schizophrenic – who is now serving an indefinite sentence in Broadmoor secure hospital.

Littlehampton’s MP Nick Gibb called on the Worthing-based Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust responsible to adopt all the report’s recommendations “as a matter of urgency”.


The report said Reid-Wentworth harboured fantasies about killing young women.

Investigators Verita said staff from the trust missed three “pivotal” opportunities to prevent the attack.

The first was when he was admitted to psychiatric services in August, 2007, after he used a spray can and lighter as a makeshift torch to assault two women.

The second was when he was transferred to the rehabilitation and recovery unit of a psychiatric hospital and an “assessment of risk was incomplete”.

The third was when Reid-Wentworth, then aged 21, was readmitted to the acute mental health ward in 2008 after the re-emergence of psychotic fantasies that included killing people.


The trust has apologised for its failings and has acted on the 13 recommendations by Verita.

To read more details of the reports findings pick up your copy of this week’s Littlehampton Gazette or Worthing Herald (Thursday, July 5, edition) out now.