Missed opportunity in care of Doncaster woman who believed she was Virgin Mary

Doncaster coroner Nicola Mundy
Doncaster coroner Nicola Mundy

A coroner said there may have been a ‘missed opportunity’ to intervene in the care of a woman who believed she was the Virgin Mary due to her mental health problems.

Julie Carol Taylor, aged 28, had a long history of mental health problems but had started having ‘bizarre beliefs’ and bouts of spiritual enlightenment in the days before her death.

Doncaster Coroner’s Court heard Ms Taylor believed she was the Virgin Mary and had tried to baptise her daughter in a Doncaster lake in the days leading up to her death on August 3.

The painter and decorator and part-time lecturer had also made statements to her family about Joseph and Cleopatra.

Ms Taylor, of Rockingham Road, Wheatley, had been engaging with mental health services and was looking to the future.

But Coroner Nicola Mundy told the inquest: “By July 31 she started believing someone was out to get her and was having bizarre beliefs.”

The court heard Miss Taylor had visited A&E with her daughter on August 2 and Ms Taylor’s mother, Marie Taylor, had also contacted the crisis team but a doctor did not visit her or assess her at that stage.

Ms Mundy said there may have been a ‘missed opportunity’ for Ms Taylor to receive further care from a doctor at this time but it was unlikely this would have altered the outcome.

As the psychotic elements had only presented three days before her death, Ms Mundy said it was not enough time to raise the red flag and had she been admitted to hospital it was unlikely her death could have been avoided.

Ms Taylor died on August 3 of water intoxication.

Recording a narrative verdict, Ms Mundy said a conclusion of suicide would not be appropriate in this case due to Ms Taylor’s mental health as she could not be confident that she was capable of forming the intent to end her own life.

A spokesman for Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our thoughts and sympathies are with Julie Taylor’s family and friends.

“At the time of the incident we carried out an investigation and we have shared the findings with Ms Taylor’s family and with the coroner.

“We have met Ms Taylor’s family on several occasions and if they have any further questions or would like any support from us we are happy to arrange to meet with them in the near future.”