Grieving mother: My suicidal son should have been kept in hospital

Basingstoke Gazette: Grieving mother: My suicidal son should have been kept in hospital Grieving mother: My suicidal son should have been kept in hospital

A GRIEVING mother told an inquest she wished her son had been detained for longer in a Basingstoke mental health institution.

Stephen McCormick, 23, of Osborne Close, Oakridge, Basingstoke, died on October 14 at 1.10pm when he jumped off the platform at Basingstoke railway station into the path of a South West Trains locomotive travelling at 70mph.

His death came seven months after he was discharged from Parklands hospital. He had been admitted after suffering from mental health problems that stemmed from a long-standing drugs habit.

His mother Emma McCormick, from Andover, speaking at an inquest at North East Hampshire coroner’s court, said: “I don’t think he should have been let out of Parklands, because of human rights – they don’t listen to mums.”

She told a nine-strong jury that her son’s behaviour deteriorated in December 2012. He was admitted to Parklands, in Aldermaston Road, Basingstoke, in early January, was discharged in March, and was put under the care of community mental health teams.

According to a report from Philippa North, a consultant psychiatrist for the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, Mr McCormick suffered from delusions because of his heavy use of heroin, cannabis, MDMA, and cocaine. He was discharged on March 12, after showing signs of improvement.

On October 14, CCTV footage at Basingstoke train station showed Mr McCormick waiting for an hour before he jumped in front of the 11.59am fast train from Bournemouth to Waterloo. Toxicology tests revealed no traces of drugs or alcohol in his blood.

North East Hampshire coroner Andrew Bradley said: “His mental condition was much improved at the time of his death. Psychiatric services did not have any concerns that they had earlier in the year. But he clearly had continuing mental difficulties.”

The jury spent 20 minutes considering the evidence, before returning a verdict of suicide.

  •  The Samaritans can be contacted by anyone in any type of distress on 08457 90 90 90.

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