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Woman, 31, arrested on suspicion of attempting to murder two young children ‘after she waded into river with them’ is detained under the Mental Health Act


  • Police called to Southampton’s River Itchen after reports of people in the water
  • A 31-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder
  • Hampshire Police say she has been detained under the Mental Health Act 

A 31-year-old woman arrested on suspicion of attempted murder of two young children who she ‘waded into a river’ with has been detained under the Mental Health Act, police say.

The woman was arrested on Thursday afternoon after officers were called by horrified people reporting she had ‘waded into a river with two young children’. 

Luckily, crews pulled the three people from the 20ft deep River Itchen, Hants, before they were swept away.

As the traumatised children were comforted, police arrested the woman on suspicion of attempted murder, and say she has since been sectioned.

Officers raced to Cobden Bridge over the river in Southampton after callers reported she had gone into the water with the two little children just after 3.30 on Thursday afternoon.

Police vehicles parked on Cobden Bridge, Southampton on Thursday after three people were reportedly pulled from the River Itchen in Hampshire

Police vehicles parked on Cobden Bridge, Southampton on Thursday after three people were reportedly pulled from the River Itchen in Hampshire

A police officer speaks to members of the public at Riverside Park following the incident

A police officer speaks to members of the public at Riverside Park following the incident

They pulled the woman and two young children from the water and they received treatment from paramedics.

Police say they are treating it as an ‘isolated incident’ and say there is no wider threat to the general public.

The bridge carrying lines of traffic was closed in both directions while emergency services worked to rescue the trio from the river.

One eyewitness said ‘All of a sudden there was police, fire and ambulance everywhere. They rushed here and swarmed the park and closed off the bridge.’

Police said: ‘We were called at 3.38pm following reports that a woman had entered the water near Cobden Bridge with two young children.

‘Emergency services attended the scene and all three people were recovered and received treatment.

‘A 31-year-old woman from Southampton has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

‘Cobden Bridge was temporarily closed but has since been re-opened. We will be conducting enquiries in the area.’

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service said it sent crews from St Mary’s to assist police with the incident at around 3.45pm, leaving about half an hour later.

Today police said the woman ‘has now been detained under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act’.

They declined to disclose any further information.



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