England

Mums desperate search for answers seven years after son was found hanged

Mealnie Leahy and Matthew Leahy

Melanie Leahy still doesnt know the truth about what happened to her son Matthew, who died seven years ago

Its been seven years since Matthew Leahy was found hanged in his room at a mental health unit in Essex, days after calling his mum claiming he had been raped.

At just 20 years of age he had his own business and dreams of going travelling, but had begun to display signs of delusional disorder a year earlier.

His mum, Melanie, remembers feeling relieved on the day he was tasered by police and sectioned at Linden Mental Health Center in November 2012.

Hoping Matthew would finally get the treatment he needed, she was advised to visit him at the end of the week after he text her saying Im in hell.

But the next time she saw him he was dead on a trolley – and Melanie is still searching for answers seven years on

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We thought he was going to a place of safety Melanie told Metro.co.uk.

I thought he was in the hands of professionals and he finally would get the help he needed.

Matthew Leahy was admitted to the Linden Mental Health Clinic on November 7, 2012 and was found hanged 7 days later

Matthew Leahy was admitted to the Linden Mental Health Clinic on November 7, 2012 and was found hanged 7 days later (Picture: Melanie Leahy)

Doctors said he needed time to settle, so I said to him I will come and see you at the end of the week. Well, I never got to see him alive again.

On day seven I got a call from his doctor to say Matthew has been found hanging and I just collapsed. By the time I got there, he was dead on a trolley.

I just wanted to kiss him but I was told do not touch him, this is a crime scene.

Its been seven years and I still havent been given a the full picture of what happened to my son on the day he died.

Seven years of investigations

An inquest into Matthews death could not conclude suicide and returned an open verdict – meaning there was not enough evidence to determine how he died.

Melanie was dealt a further blow when Essex Police dropped a two year investigation into the death of Matthew and 24 others under the the care of the then North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (NEP) last year.

Melanie lost her only child Matthew seven days after he was taken into a mental health unit (Picture: Mealnie Leahy)

Melanie thought her child was going to a place of safety and still doesnt know the truth (Picture: Mealnie Leahy)

The force said that while they found clear and basic failings, there was insufficient evidence to bring corporate manslaughter charges, leaving Melanie and other families devastated.

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Most recently, a Parliamentary Health and Social Care Ombudsman (PHSCO) investigation into Matthew and another mans death uncovered a systemic failure to tackle repeated and critical failings over 10 years.

What makes me sad is the fact that they are not learning from his death Melanie said.

Matthew would be 27 now. Sometimes I will see his ex-girlfriend, shes had two children.

I have got to look at them and it kills me. I think that should be my granddaughter. We are heart broken, even now.

I still havent had the chance to grieve because I am still fighting this system. Its destroyed my relationships. Its taken over my life. I have had families contacting me in the care of the same trust.

Melanie says no one has been held to account for Matthew's death

Melanie says no one has been held to account for Matthews death (Picture: Melanie Leahy)

It just brings it all back. There are too many Matthews.

The Ombudsman report, published in June, said staff at the Linden Centre falsified care plans after Matthews death, failed to take his rape claim seriously and didnt protect patients from equipment that could be used for hanging.

It called on NHS Improvements (NHSI) to conduct a national review into the trusts failings and consider whether a further government-backed public inquiry into his death would be necessary.

However, the NHSI cant start its investigation until a separate ongoing review, conducted by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been complete.

Melanie, 54, has been told it could be another three months until the HSE will decide whether to prosecute the trust or not, and isnt prepared to wait that long.

Matthew Leahyis one of 25 people who died under the care of North Essex Partnership Trust over a 10 year period (Picture: Melanie Leahy)

Matthew is one of 25 people who died under the care of North Essex Partnership Trust over a 10 year period (Picture: Melanie Leahy)

As the seventh anniversary of Matthews death approaches, she has started a government petition calling foRead More – Source

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