An Antiques Roadshow expert died after suffering from postpartum psychosis, an inquest heard this week.

Alice Gibson-Watt died from internal bleeding caused by a ruptured liver in November 2012. It is believed she sustained these injuries after being restrained by police following a psychotic episode and panic attack.

Jewellery specialist Alice gave birth to daughter Chiara Charlotte only five weeks earlier. Her husband, Anthony Gibson-Watt, told the West London Coroner's Court that on November 13, his wife suffered a panic attack at home and started crawling on all fours, shouting that her daughter was unsafe.

It is suspected that she suffered from postpartum psychosis, a severe but rare medical condition in which the mother suffers from symptoms of high mood and racing thoughts (mania), depression, severe confusion, loss of inhibition, paranoia, hallucinations and delusions.


Symptoms can begin suddenly in the first two weeks after delivery. The symptoms vary and can change quickly.

On Wednesday, the jury heard from police officers who went to Mrs Gibson-Watt's home in Fulham, West London, in response to a 999 call from Anthony.

The officers gave similar accounts that Mrs Gibson-Watt was screaming, swearing, violent, and repeating that her 'baby was dead'.

Officers held her shoulders, feet, ankles, knees and her hands. She was also strapped down when she was taken from the house to Westminster Hospital. She died on November 20, after suffering from cardiac arrest and internal bleeding. 

The inquest is looking at whether excessive force was used by police officers.



Police Constable Andrea Cope remembered the incident as ‘the most tragic thing I've ever had to deal with at work’.

Dr Miriam Barrett, consultant psychiatrist, said Mrs Gibson-Watt appeared rational when she was assessed. However, she reported that Alice was suffering from "delusions" and claimed she could communicate telepathically with her baby.


Michael Mylonas, a barrister representing Mrs Gibson-Watt's family, asked Dr Barrett whether she felt that if Mrs Gibson-Watt had suffered a "very severe blow" to her abdomen, would she have been likely to mention it.

"There was no sign of her being in pain or discomfort," Dr Barrett said.

Paul Spencer, representing West London Mental Health Trust, asked whether it was possible that a patient in Mrs Gibson-Watt's condition could have suffered an injury but, because of her psychotic state, would not have complained about it.

Dr Barrett replied: "I suppose it is possible."

The inquest will continue until the end of the month.