Inquest rules woman who stabbed partner to death died from lung cancer

Sign for Rampton Hospital
Sign for Rampton Hospital

A woman who was sent to a psychiatric hospital indefinitely after stabbing to death her violent lover has died from lung cancer.

Anita Muscroft was sent to Rampton Secure Hospital in 2001 after a judge ruled that she was a danger to the public.

She admitted to the manslaughter of her boyfriend Peter Jones more than six years after the crime, on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

An inquest in Nottingham found that she died from natural causes in Bassetlaw Hospital in June, last year while still under the court order.

In March 1995, Muscroft, formerly of Rotherham, took a cocktail of drink and drugs before stabbing her partner in the chest with a kitchen knife at his home in Sheffield. She claimed Jones had been violent towards her and that she killed him after provocations and in self defence.

Muscroft was convicted of murder in 1996 and jailed for life, but the Appeal Court ruled the conviction should be quashed on the basis of fresh evidence. The court that Muscroft suffered from a severe personality disorder after experiencing extreme sexual and physical abuse from an early age.

Muscroft was sent to Rampton Secure Hospital in 2001 after a judge ruled that he was ‘entirely satisfied’ that she suffered from a psychopathic disorder which warranted an unlimited period of treatment.

Nottingham Coroner’s Court heard that when Muscroft was sent to Rampton Secure Hospital in 2001, staff experienced ‘challenging behaviour’ from her, but she then engaged with staff and became a popular patient.

Muscroft, a heavy smoker, was diagnosed with lung cancer in May last year, after being admitted to Bassetlaw Hospital coughing up blood.

Further tests and scans found that the cancer was terminal and that only palliative treatment was available.

Muscroft was transferred back to Rampton Hospital, and underwent two sessions of chemotherapy in hospital.

Despite being told that this treatment could extend her life by up to two years, Ivan Cartwright, assistant coroner for Notts, was told that her condition ‘rapidly deteriorated’ and she passed away on 12th June last year, aged 49.

A post mortem found that she died as a result of pneumonia and lung cancer.

Mr Carwright concluded that Muscroft died from natural causes. He said: “She was treated at both Rampton and Bassetlaw Hospital. I have learnt that her attitude shifted markedly when the full effects of chemotherapy treatment manifested and her mood deteriorated in line with her physical health.”