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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Inquest verdict due after man's death fall at Cumbrian hospital

The mother of a Maryport man who died after falling from a hospital toilet window believes her son was trying to escape rather than kill himself.

Deividas Sereika photo
Deividas Sereika

Related: Hospital fall man squeezed himself out of window, inquest told

Deividas Sereika, 40, of Edinburgh Road, Maryport, died on May 8 last year after the fall from a third-storey window at Whitehaven’s West Cumberland Hospital.

He broke a window in one of the hospital bathrooms and squeezed himself out head-first.

He died a couple of hours later at around 10pm from his injuries after going into cardiac arrest twice.

Earlier that day he was taken to hospital after being found in a distressed state complaining that aliens were talking to him through a chip in his wrist.

On the fourth day of the inquest at the coroner’s court in Cockermouth, assistant coroner Robert Chapman heard from Mr Sereika’s mother, Irena Svetikiene.

Speaking through an interpreter, she said: “He didn’t try to commit suicide. I think he was trying to escape, but he didn’t evaluate the height. I think he was trying to escape because he wanted to come back home.

“I don’t think he had suicidal thoughts.”

Mr Sereika had previously run away from hospital in April 2012. While there he had groped a female nurse, assaulted a member of the public and then collided with a car outside the hospital while trying to run away.

Mr Sereika moved to England from Lithuania in 2006 with his mother and girlfriend. They moved to Hall Brow in Workington and he got a job at a fish factory in Maryport. They moved to Maryport in 2009.

He broke up with his long-term girlfriend six months after moving to England and that was when his mental state started to decline, according to Mrs Svetikiene. He started drinking heavily, lost his job and felt lonely, but was in denial about his alcohol problems.

Mrs Svetikiene paid tribute to her son. She said: “Deividas was a wonderful son. I know he loved me so much and I loved him. He never did any harm to anyone.

“I will never get over what happened.”

Kathy Barnes, interim general manager for emergency care at Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary, was at the inquest to present the measures the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust had taken since a serious incident investigation had been carried out .

Ms Barnes said that the formal process of discussing patients between the medical staff and mental health liaison team would be looked at.

Other measures that the trust has introduced or is in the process of introducing, include courses for clinical staff in the prevention of suicide, updates in training for staff on health record keeping and updating IT systems so files could be shared across organisations.

They will also share the findings of the investigation report with the A&E departments and establishing strong strategic links at an upper level with the emergency services.

The inquest was due to conclude today when a verdict was expected.

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