Nikolas Clarke represents local authority in Article 2 jury inquest into death of 97-year-old man

22 May 2024

Nikolas Clarke represented the local authority's social services team in an Article 2 jury inquest into the death of 97-year-old, PB.

PB had a support plan provided by the local authority through a care agency (his wife also had carers who visited 4 times a day).

He had a history of cognitive decline and was known to wander and get lost. Shortly before his death he had been diagnosed with front-temporal dementia.

In September 2021, his wife was taken to hospital by ambulance and his family state that PB was expressly refused permission to travel with her. Therefore he remained at home.

Later that day he was seen entering his local train station. It is thought that he may have intended to make his own way to the hospital to join his wife.

That evening he was seen at a south London station, far from home, walking towards the end of the platform.

Train drivers were alerted to be cautious, but searches by the police from the platform and a footbridge were unsuccessful.

PB's body was found in the early hours of the following morning. CCTV footage would suggest that he had wandered onto railway tracks.

The inquest

At the 7-day inquest, the jury considered the level of care provided by the local authority under the support plan.

Jury conclusion

The jury concluded that PB's death had been an accident. The jury stated that it believed PB's memory and dementia were a contributory factor in his death.

No preventing future deaths report was made.

The jury did not find any probable or possible causes relating to the local authority's conduct.