Bath Voice News: Update on ‘knife man’ incident when the RUH was locked down on February 2 over threatening phone calls from a man who has now been sectioned under the Mental Health Act

By Harry Mottram: Following the chaos caused by a man making threatening phone calls to the RUH a man who was arrested at the time has been sectioned and detained under section 136 of the 1983 Mental Health Act.

Police reported at the time: “A man has been arrested in connection with an incident at Royal United Hospital in Bath earlier today (Friday 2 February). Police attended after a report by hospital staff of a man making verbal threats by phone. A short time later there was also a report of a man in the area carrying an unknown item, which the informant was concerned may have been a bladed weapon, but this is something that remains unconfirmed. The hospital decided to go into a lockdown and we advised a nearby school to take a similar precautionary measure. Both lockdowns were lifted in the early-afternoon and access to both the hospital and school are now unrestricted. We have arrested a man in his 40s on suspicion of making threatening communications and he is in police custody.

With three knife murders in Bath last year and a spate of killings with knives or bladed weapons in nearby Bristol this and last year it is understandable that the Police were taking no chances especially since the hospital was involved and St Mary’s Primary School is next door to the RUH.

The BBC reported: “A man in his 40s has been detained using mental health legislation after a hospital had to go into lockdown following reports of threatening phone calls. Initially he was arrested for making the threats by phone and at the time there was a report that a man was seen near the hospital with a ‘knife’ or similar object which turned out to not be a threat said police.

Being sectioned means being admitted to hospital whether or not you agree to it. The legal authority for your admission to hospital comes from the Mental Health Act rather than from your consent. This is usually because you are unable or unwilling to consent. If you are sectioned, you normally have the right to get help from someone called an independent mental health advocate (IMHA). It means the man at the centre of the crisis will not be allowed back into public for the time being and may yet face charges depending on what the authorities decide.

Bath Voice Monthly Newspaper is distributed free to thousands of homes and some supermarkets – distributed from the first of the month. Harry Mottram is the News Editor

Email him at Bath website:
Bath Facebook:  Also on Twitter: Read the newspaper online at : To advertise to thousands of Bathonians call Erica on 07402 441485 or email her on

Harry Mottram is a freelance journalist. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Telegram, TikTok and Mobile: 07789 864769