Man who fell to his death from Wythenshawe Hospital window should have had psychiatric assessment, inquest hears
13 Th October 2014 By Todd Fitzgerald
Eugene St Leger, from Bramhall, Stockport, was rushed to Stepping Hill Hospital after his sister Alexandra found him face down in a pool of blood in the family’s cellar after he cut his neck with a piece of glass
A man who slashed his own throat with a broken bottle died after smashing a hospital window and falling through it, an inquest heard.
Eugene St Leger, from Bramhall, Stockport, was rushed to Stepping Hill Hospital after his sister Alexandra found him face down in a pool of blood in the family’s cellar after he cut his neck with a piece of glass.
He was transferred to Wythenshawe Hospital for emergency surgery, but died hours after being admitted.
Mr St Leger, who went to university in Manchester and had two degrees, spoke to his family of his ‘paranoia’ over ‘the apocalypse’ in the days leading up to his death, and said ‘everyone should kill themselves’.
Manchester coroner Nigel Meadows, resuming the inquest into Mr St Leger’s death at Manchester Town Hall, said the 30-year-old ‘led a relatively solitary lifestyle’ and spent most of his time in his room building and fixing computers.
The day before his death, Mr St Leger walked into his mother’s room, opened the curtains and said he was ‘watching the meteor shower’. He later told his family he had been joking, but was reported to have talked a lot about aliens and conspiracy theories surrounding paranormal activity.
His younger sister Alexandra found him in his cellar, with blood covering the floor, on January 4 last year.
When Ms St Leger and a neighbour tried to stop the bleeding, he resisted. Ms St Leger said that when she asked her brother what had happened, he said: “Aliens, aliens. There are aliens here.”
Officer Rachel Doughty said Mr St Leger was handcuffed to prevent him from hindering paramedics’ efforts to treat him. He was heard calling himself a ‘reptilian’ and told medics to ‘let him die’ as he refused treatment.
He later told police the incident was down to ‘paranormal activity’.
Police and paramedics ferried Mr St Leger to nearby Stepping Hill Hospital, but he was later transferred to Wythenshawe Hospital to see specialists.
He ‘calmed down’ after being moved, and agreed to let doctors treat him.
The court heard that Mr St Leger was not assessed by psychiatrists after being briefly seen by a ‘junior psychiatric doctor’.
After being pencilled in for surgery the next morning, Mr St Leger was put on a ward.
When he requested to urinate, he was allowed privacy in his room to do so. Staff then heard a loud noise after he smashed a window.
His brother, Dominic, and members of staff saw Mr St Leger fall to his death from the first floor.
A nurse was heard to have said: “He’s thrown himself out of the window.”
Dr Rupert Evans, a consultant at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, said Mr St Leger should have undergone a psychiatric assessment at Wythenshawe Hospital as he would have considered him ‘high risk’.
He said medics at Stepping Hill had ‘rightly’ concentrated on Mr Leger’s life threatening neck wound initially, rather than his mental state.
Dr Evans said the fact that Mr St Leger had self harmed, resisted treatment and was having delusions ‘warranted discussion with a psychiatrist’ by doctors.
When asked about the lack of notes about Mr St Leger’s mental state, Dr Evans said he considered such recordings ‘essential data’. Mr St Leger had no history of mental illness.
Credit: Manchester Evening News:-