Parents arrested after OCD sufferer found dead
Published 08/02/2011 | 05:00
The parents of a woman who died after reportedly spending up to 20 hours a day in the shower were arrested on Sunday.
Ken and Marion Hancox, aged 76 and 77, were questioned for seven hours by police after dialling 999 when they discovered their 40-year-old daughter, Samantha, dead in an armchair at the family home in Tipton, West Midlands.
She had hardly left the house in 18 years because of her fear of being contaminated with germs.
A post-mortem showed she died of dehydration and a skin infection, and the couple are on bail while investigations continue.
Campaigners condemned the police response yesterday. Ashley Fulwood, chief executive of OCD UK, said: "It is nothing short of a disgrace. Samantha Hancox had been in the mental health system -- it was their failing, not the parents."
Between 1pc and 2pc of the British population suffer from OCD severe enough to require medical intervention. Awareness has grown as more people have recognised minor symptoms in themselves.
The British government announced an extra £400m (€474m) last week as part of its mental health strategy to boost provision of talking therapies. However, it takes an average of 12 years from the onset of symptoms to diagnose OCD because sufferers tend to hide their illness. (© Independent News Service)