A WORRIED junior doctor told police Nicola Edgington could be a danger to the public moments after the alleged knife murderer left hospital, a court heard.

The 32-year-old mental patient absconded from the Oxleas House mental health unit at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, at around 7.05am on October 10, 2011, a jury at the Old Bailey was told.

Trainee GP Akintayo Idowu was senior house officer (SHO) on the unit that morning and rang 999 as soon as he heard Edgington had taken off without warning, the court heard.

She took buses to Bexleyheath and stabbed two strangers: then 22-year-old Kerry Clark, who survived the attack, and Sally Hodkin, 58, who died after nearly being decapitated by a meat cleaver, the jury was told.

Mr Idowu claimed he told the operator: "She may be a danger to herself and I can't rule out she may be a danger to members of the public."

Speaking in the witness box, he added: "If she didn't want to come back to the unit I felt the police should use the powers they had to bring her back even against her will."

The doctor found out agitated Edgington, who claimed she had not slept "for weeks" when she appeared at QEH on the morning of the stabbings, had killed her mother in 2005, the court heard.

Mr Idowu said he told police: "It's not an emergency situation but we are concerned about her.

"Given her past history I am concerned she poses a threat to the public."

He agreed with defence barrister John Cooper QC that if the defendant had not run off in the process of being admitted to Oxleas, the SHO would have recommended she be "forcibly detained".

QEH nurse Afam Obosi admitted the mental patient left the unit through a "faulty" door that was meant to be locked.

Edgington, of Ambedkar House, Flavell Mews, Greenwich, pleaded not guilty to murder and one charge of attempted murder.

The trial continues.