A Derbyshire coroner has ruled that psychologist Dr. Lisa Derriscott apparently took her own life due to her guilt over her role in the release of a Northumberland sex offender who reoffended against another child. The body of the 33-year old Derriscott was found in a burned-out Vauxhall Corsa on August 3, 2011. Although family members described her as normally "bright and bubbly", she had become visibly despondent after learning that one of her patients at the St. Andrews Healthcare Centre where she worked had been allowed to leave the secure unit without proper supervision in July of last year. That same offender, 44-year old Shaun Tudor, later pleaded guilty to attempting to drag a ten-year old boy into some bushes within minutes after his release. He then went on the run for eight hours before being arrested. Although she was only one member of the Northumberland mental health team that had released Tudor and the decision was upheld by the Ministry of Justice, Dr. Derriscott had reportedly felt personally responsible. Coworkers reported that the normally dedicated psychologist started behaving erratically and was often "quiet, distressed, and withdrawn".
Lisa Derriscott's partner, Andrew Whittle, told the inquest that she was visibly upset and "unable to cope" despite the fact that she was not directly involved in the decision to allow Tudor out unsupervised. He also reported that she talked about "not being able to live with herself" and that she "wanted to go to sleep and not wake up". In suicide notes that she left for Whittle and her mother, she stated that it was her fault that the convicted sex offender, who had spent twenty-three years in psychiatric institutions, had been allowed to attack another child. Although she told her supervisor, Dr. Clive Long, that she was feeling suicidal, he dismissed this since she did not match the profile of people likely to kill themselves. According to police reconstruction of the death scene, she had apparently parked her car and took an overdose of pain medication before setting her car on fire with her inside. Despite the overdose, she died of smoke inhalation. The suicide occurred the day before Shaun Tudor was to appear in court to plead guilty to the attack.
After the coroner recorded a verdict of suicide, the father of the child attacked by Tudor described it as a "double tragedy". He added that, "the doctor died, my son was attacked. My son died that day. He is a totally different child now".