AN INQUEST has been opened today into the death of mental unit care assistant Sharon Wall, who was allegedly killed by a 61-year-old patient.

The 53-year-old carer, who worked at the Wotton Lawn mental health unit in Gloucester, was allegedly stabbed in one of the wards on the morning of Wednesday, July 9 and despite the efforts of colleagues and staff from Gloucestershire Royal Hospital to save her, she died an hour later.

At the inquest opening before deputy Gloucestershire coroner David Dooley at Gloucester Coroner’s Court, evidence of identification was taken from Sharon’s daughter Nicola Jiracek.

Coroner’s officer Philip Squibbs said Miss Jiracek had been too distressed to complete an identification form, but this had been completed by PC Jonathan Newton, who had accompanied her to view her mother’s body.

Mr Dooley said Miss Wall had never married and had lived in Gloucester all her life.

He heard that a post mortem had already been carried out by Home Office forensic pathologist Dr Andrew Davison and he had given the cause of death as a stab wound to the back of the chest.

Investigations into the weapon were continuing he said, and because a man was in custody on suspicion of murder, it was not yet possible to release the body to the family.

The case was adjourned to a target date of January 15, 2015, but Mr Dooley said this would be dependent on any ensuing court case.

*Ryan Matthews of Horton Road, Gloucester, has been charged with her murder and appeared at Cheltenham Magistrates' Court on Saturday, July 12.