Call for inquiry into man's death

A COUNCILLOR has called for an inquiry after claiming that a man who threatened to blow himself up in a block of flats was found dead in the same property just a week later.

Roddy Ashworth

A COUNCILLOR has called for an inquiry after claiming that a man who threatened to blow himself up in a block of flats was found dead in the same property just a week later.

Kim Naish, who represents Berechurch ward on Colchester Borough Council, said that the body of the man, in his 20s, was discovered yesterday morning in Maypole Way, off King George Road.

Mr Naish said he was the same man who sparked a stand-off with police after barricading himself inside his home and turning on the gas at about 4pm last Friday, leading to a full-scale evacuation.


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After giving himself up the man was not arrested but was instead placed in the care of mental health services.

However, Mr Naish claimed that he had been discharged the next day and been allowed to return to the flat.

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Police confirmed that officers were called to the property shortly after mid-day yesterday after the body of a man was found.

A spokesman said: “Police were called to Maypole Way in Colchester at 12.20pm, where officers found a man in his mid-20s dead at the scene.

“Inquiries are ongoing but it is believed there are no suspicious circumstances.”

Yesterday, Mr Naish said he felt the man had been let down by the care system.

“I want an inquiry into this. It appears that this man was involved in a siege that resulted in many people being evacuated from their homes.

“Instead of being arrested, he was handed over to the mental health authorities. But within a day, I am told, he was back at the flat and within a week he was dead.

“This man obviously needed help. However, somewhere along the line there has been a total breakdown in the system and a fateful lack of support for this person.

“It is something we must get to the bottom of.

“The mental health authorities are supposed to be there to help people who are facing difficulties, but on the face of it in this case they have let someone down, with tragic consequences.”

Last week's siege led to the block of flats being cordoned off while police, fire and ambulance services stayed on standby as trained negotiators spoke with the man.

Residents were shepherded onto the streets and away from the building amid fears of an explosion.

One witness, 64-year-old Patricia Emery, said: “The man had put the gas on and said he was going to blow it up. The explosion could have reached us.

“I was so scared - you don't know how far the situation is going to go.”

A spokeswoman for the local mental health trust, the North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The trust is sorry to hear of this unfortunate incident.

“Due to client confidentiality, we are unable to comment on individual cases.

“Our thoughts go to the deceased's family and friends at this sad time.”

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