The inquest into the death of a 42-year-old man, David, concluded on 26 July 2022 at Rochdale Coroner’s Court. Following his death in 2021, an inquest was opened by HM Senior Coroner for Manchester North, Ms Joanne Kearsley.

The inquest initially commenced almost a year prior, however, was adjourned part heard, in order for further investigations to be carried out. The family were unrepresented at the time and following this adjournment, approached Farleys for legal representation.

At the resumed inquest, HM Senior Coroner heard evidence from a number of medical and mental health professionals to establish how, and in what circumstances, David came about his death.

David had a long-standing history of mental health illness and had been diagnosed with Schizophrenia. He had several hospital admissions dating back to 1998, including sections under sections 2 and 3 of the Mental Health Act.

At the time of his death, David was an inpatient at Hollingworth Ward in Birch Hill Hospital. Whilst an inpatient, his weight significantly increased and he also developed a suspected sleep apnoea. David was meant to be on hourly observations, however, CCTV footage on the morning of his death showed that nurses did not enter his room until 7am. He was checked at 7am, then again at 7.40am to give him his medication. On this second check, David was found unresponsive.

Having heard the evidence, HM Senior Coroner concluded that David died of natural causes.

Following the adjournment of the first hearing, Farleys assisted the family with preparing for the final hearing and instructed Counsel to represent the family at the hearing. Farleys made representations that although one of the witnesses had given evidence at the previous hearing, they should again be called again to answer further questions arising from additional disclosure.

The family were represented by Kelly Darlington and the inquests team at Farleys Solicitors and Rebecca Titus-Cobb of St John’s Buildings Barristers Chambers.

If you are seeking assistance and representation at inquest, whether the inquest has yet to begin or is in progress, get in touch with our inquest specialists at Farleys on 0845 287 0939, email us, or talk to us through the online chat below.