Man shouting he would kill himself told ‘go to McDonald’s’ by MRI security staff moments before he was hit by a taxi, inquest hears

A man was told to ‘get a coffee from McDonalds’ after attempting to take his life after being discharged from Manchester Royal Infirmary, an inquest has heard. Daniel Kirton, 35, told hospital security staff “I am going to run in front of a car. Watch. Watch” minutes before lying down and ‘rolling’ into the road and being struck by a taxi.

Daniel tragically died following the collision, which occurred after he had attempted to take his own life on hospital grounds after he was discharged by mental health practitioners. He had attended Manchester Royal Infirmary’s emergency department earlier that afternoon, December 3 2020, and was assessed by staff from the Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, but deemed fit to be released.

After getting a call about an ‘aggressive’ male, security officers said they were instructed to ‘keep an eye’ on Daniel, before he was later escorted out of the hospital and into the grounds outside. Continuing to give evidence on the second day of the inquest, security officers based at the hospital reiterated they had no training specifically relating to dealing with mental health issues and that they felt ‘powerless’ as Daniel threatened to take his own life.

The court also heard that one member of security thought Daniel was initially just ‘seeking attention’ and that they told him to ‘go to McDonald’s’ a short walk away, to ‘get a coffee’ and ‘wait until the next day’.

“I first became aware of him (Daniel) just after 11 o’clock at night. We were approached by the mental health staff to keep an eye on the patient and make sure he wasn’t coming back because he had been discharged.” Mr Piotr Kuchcinski, a Sodexo security officer based at the hospital, told the court.

He added he had not been given any information about Daniel’s clinical history at the time. In his statement to the police, the security officer said he was told by hospital staff that someone had confiscated a razor blade from Daniel earlier in the day.

After being discharged, the court heard how Daniel, known as Danny to family and friends, was ‘dismissed’ by mental health staff who told him he would receive a home visit the following day. It was heard he was told by staff that there ‘was help available’ but ‘not in A&E’.

“I swear to god I am going to run in front of a car now”

In a transcript of bodycam footage read out in court, Daniel told security officers “I have asked for help”, “It’s over tonight for me, I’m done. I’m done” and added: “I told you if they weren’t going to help me I was going to kill myself. When I say something I mean it.”

Mr Kuchcinski then told him: “Listen, the problem is, you are in the wrong place.” Daniel also told security officers: “I’m going to run in front of a car. Watch, watch. I swear to god I’m going to run in front of a car now”.

“He had been discharged,” Mr Kuchcinski told the court, “My understanding was they were not going to bring him back and talk to him anymore. He was shouting the whole time that he was going to kill himself.”

The court heard that the police were not called at the time because Daniel was only being verbally and not physically aggressive. Mr Kuchcinski added “I felt powerless. I had no power at all.”

Security officer told Daniel to ‘go to McDonalds’ and ‘stay in a Travelodge overnight’

Joseph Lartey, another security officer at the hospital said Daniel needed to be escorted off the premises after he had been discharged. He said he heard ‘shouting’ and ‘chairs moving’ from a side room in the department at around 11pm.

Upon going to see what was happening, he saw two mental health practitioners leave the room, who said they were going to discharge Daniel because his ‘behaviour was getting worse’ and that security was asked to ‘keep an eye’ on him.

“I saw Daniel in the room, I could see he was very agitated,” Mr Lartey told the court. “In that moment, I was trying to calm him down and he told me he came for help and they didn’t want to give it to him.”

As Daniel left the room, Mr Lartey said he asked the control room to keep the cameras on him because he wanted to ‘monitor his movements,’ and that he was concerned about him. The court heard bodycam footage recorded Daniel saying “I want to be dead” to which Mr Lartey responded “Alright, no problem.”

When asked about that specific response by coroner Zak Golombek, Mr Lartey said: “I did my best to talk to him but he just kept saying it. I didn’t mean he should go ahead and do anything like that.”

Moments later, Mr Lartey then urged his security officer colleague Mr Kuchcinski to go back inside the hospital with him so that Daniel would ‘stop his foolishness’. He told the court: “At that point, I thought he was seeking attention.”

Following Daniel’s attempt to take his own life outside, he then attempted to try and climb a ladder close to the entrance to the emergency department but was pulled down by security officers. He later held a metal barrier over his head.

The inquest will last five days at Manchester Coroner’s Court (Image: MEN Media)
Mr Lartey added that he ‘told him (Daniel) to go to McDonalds’ a short walk away and to ‘buy himself a coffee’, to ‘wait until the next day’ and use his money to book himself into a nearby Travelodge overnight.

It was at around 11.37pm that same evening that Daniel walked out of the hospital grounds before lying down and ‘rolling’ into the road, where he was struck by a taxi on Upper Brook Street. He was pronounced dead the following morning at Manchester Royal Infirmary.

Daniel’s medical cause of death was noted as 1A chest injuries. The inquest, set to last the entire week before area coroner Zak Golombek, is still to hear from mental health clinicians Godfrey Chivea and Samina Kousar along with doctors, detectives from Greater Manchester Police who investigated following the collision and further R23 evidence.

Read full story here

Source: Manchester Evening News, 22nd August 2022

Published by CHARM Greater Manchester

CHARM, the Community for Holistic, Accessible, Rights Based Mental Health was launched by The Organic Recovery Learning Community in September 2020.

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