Matthew Leahy died in November 2012. He died alone, scared, highly medicated, bruised and in his words ‘in hell’.
This is a mother’s seven year fight for answers, truth, change and accountability.
What really led to Matthews death, whilst in the care of the state?
Melanie Leahy who has family members in Collier Row, tells the Havering Daily about the tragic death of her son.
‘People need to know what’s happening across the UK within our mental health services. To young and old alike. All parents need to read this please. What happened to my son could happen to your kids or indeed parents, or you.
‘My son Matthew was deemed to have psychosis and was taken by Essex Police to a psychiatric ward in Essex. He came out of this so called place of safety seven days later, dead.
‘As a mother struggling to know what was best for Matthew, I felt relief that he was finally in a place of safety and under professional care.
When I lent down to kiss him, I was told, ‘don’t touch, he’s a crime scene’.
A Jury led Coroner’s Inquest in Jan 2015 could not conclude suicide.
The verdict was left open.
‘A statement read out to the court said: ‘Matthew Leahy had been subjected to a series of multiple failings and missed opportunities over a long period of time.’
He was found with four possible five needle wounds in his groin, GHB (the date rape drug) in his blood stream. Blood in his stomach and bruises above his ankles. Matthew had called home four days before he died begging to come home, saying “I’m in hell in here. Please help me. I’m being drugged and raped on the ward.
‘We told him to call the police and he did exactly that. Before the police arrived, staff had medicated our son some more.
‘The police deemed him of no capacity to be examined. We have later discovered no mental capacity assessment was ever done. Police failed to take any swabs, they failed to seize any clothing. You can read more on http://www.curementalhealth.co.uk . I am calling for a public inquiry. ‘
Yesterday the Junior Health Minster told Melanie there would be no public Inquiry into her sons death. Melanie is now determined to have her son’s death debated in Parliament. She needs all of our help.
The Havering Daily are supporting her with a petition calling on the UK Government to hold such an inquiry. She has five weeks left to gain a further 58k signatures
At 100,000 signatures this will trigger a debate in Parliament. An opportunity for other failed families to give evidence of their loved ones also failed, nationwide and for cross party MPs to give their views on this case.
Will you take one minute out of your day to sign this petition please?
Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth said:
‘I fully support calls for a Public Inquiry into Matthew’s death to ensure that the lessons of this tragic case are learnt.
‘The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s report into Matthew’s death outlined the shambolic way in which this tragic case was handled by the North Essex Partnership University Trust
‘The Ombudsman’s finding that: there was systematic failure to tackle repeated and critical failings over an unacceptable period of time.
‘That there were missed opportunities to ensure the safety of the men that were being cared for, are truly shocking.’
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