Nikolas Clarke represents local authority’s Approved Mental Health Professional in coroner’s inquest

02 October 2020

Nikolas Clarke represented the local authority’s AMHP in an Article 2 ECHR inquest into the death of a man in his 30s.

The deceased had a history of psychotic symptoms and had been sectioned on 3 previous occasions.  On the third occasion he was discharged by the First-tier Tribunal (Mental Health), against the advice of his treating medical professionals.

His mental state deteriorated.

On 3 December, his care-coordinator made a referral to the AMHP for a Mental Health Act assessment with a view to possible detention under the Act.  Before that assessment took place (scheduled for 12 December), the deceased fell from the window of his eighth-floor flat and suffered fatal injuries.

During the 3-day hearing (heard via Teams), the coroner considered the question of the time taken between referral and the scheduled assessment.

After hearing all the evidence, the coroner:

  • concluded that while an earlier assessment may have prevented the death, the timeframe was reasonable, and the death was not predicable or foreseeable.
  • declined to make a report for the prevention of future deaths.