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Mother condemns report for claiming daughter’s death not preventable

Darren Flux-Edmonds killed his six-year-old daughter Keziah in June 2016.

Keziah Flux-Edmonds, who was drowned in June 2016 by her depressed father (Family handout/PA)
Keziah Flux-Edmonds, who was drowned in June 2016 by her depressed father (Family handout/PA)

The mother of a six-year-old girl who was drowned by her depressed father who then killed himself has criticised mental health services for failing to give him the support she feels could have prevented the tragedy.

Keziah Flux-Edmonds was killed by father Darren at her home in East Cowes, Isle of Wight, on June 1 2016.

The 44-year-old unemployed supermarket delivery driver had sent his estranged wife Nikki a text message vowing to leave her with “just memories”.

An inquest found that Keziah was unlawfully killed and now an NHS England independent report has made a number of recommendations to the Isle of Wight NHS Trust.

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Nikki Flux-Edmonds with her daughter Keziah (Family handout/PA)

The report said Mr Flux-Edmonds’ behaviour, which included signs of domestic abuse, should have “triggered some concerns” as well as led to a safeguarding alert.

But Mrs Flux-Edmonds criticised the report for saying her daughter’s death and her husband’s suicide were not preventable.

She told the Press Association that Mr Flux-Edmonds, who had been prescribed antidepressants and was undergoing cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), was dyslexic and was not given appropriate care.

She said: “Every time they tried to communicate with him, they used leaflets and forms to fill in to tell how he was feeling.

“When he told them he was feeling really bad, they gave him some leaflets to take home. It is not going to be the first thing you go to when you’re really depressed, when you can’t read.”

I had no idea how bad he was so I allowed him to look after our daughter by himself, because I believed that was giving them time together whereas, in reality, it was putting him under a pressure he wasn’t really, health-wise, able to cope with Nikki Flux-Edmonds

She added: “I wasn’t aware until the report came out, he expressed he dreamt of killing us both and he had suicidal ideation, they knew he was at risk of suicide but they put he was only a risk to himself.

“In my mind, a heart attack is only a risk to yourself, cancer is only a risk to yourself, but they still put you in A&E and give you all the treatment. He had a terminal mental illness and they just went, ‘Oh well’.

“Even if he had just died himself, that is still the loss of a human life that isn’t acceptable.”

The 51-year-old former retail worker said a protocol called Think Family to consult relatives during mental health care planning would have alerted her but it had not been implemented.

She called for greater accountability during treatment stages to ensure warning signs are not missed.

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Nikki Flux-Edmonds at her home in the Isle of Wight (Ben Mitchell/PA)

She said: “I had no idea how bad he was so I allowed him to look after our daughter by himself, because I believed that was giving them time together whereas, in reality, it was putting him under a pressure he wasn’t really, health-wise, able to cope with.”

Mrs Flux-Edmonds said she had engaged with the report to help prevent future tragedies as she felt her husband, who had once been a “good man”, had been suffering from a “terminal mental illness”.

Describing the loss of her daughter, she said: “The pain is almost indescribable but I would classify I died that day along with her.

“I loved her with every part of me. I tried to be the best mum I could, I took every course, everything to make sure she had a happy childhood, I protected her from everything I thought I could, and I failed with the one person I thought I could trust her with.

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Darren Flux-Edmonds killed himself in June 2016 after he had drowned his daughter (Family handout/PA)

“She loved giving, she was just happy, she was tiny but not frightened of anything.

“She liked everybody, she would happily chat and cared about lots of things. She was beautiful from the inside out.”

Maggie Oldham, chief executive of the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, said: “We have made changes and continue to do so in how our staff are trained and assessed, the processes we follow and the standards we hold ourselves to.

“I don’t know if we could have prevented what happened, but I do know we didn’t do everything we should and could have tried.”

PA

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