Media Media releases Inquest of Armanih Lewis-Daniel 30 November 2023 This is a media release by Imran Khan and Partners, reshared by INQUEST Before His Majesty’s Area Coroner Nadia Persaud Walthamstow Coroner’s Court, 124 Queens Road, London, E17 8QP20 November 2023 – 30 November 2023 Armanih Lewis-Daniel died at the age of 24 from fatal injuries sustained after falling from her flat on the seventh floor in Hatch Grove, Romford on 17 March 2021. At the conclusion of the Inquest, the jury returned a narrative that Armanih fell to death after jumping from a high window, but it could not be said that she had the intent to commit suicide. Armanih’s mother, Angela Lewis-Campbell, said that her daughter was “kind-hearted, protective and fiercely loving. She knew what it was like to be bullied, and, because of this, she did everything within her power to ensure that others did not have to feel the way she did.” Armanih, a Black, trans woman, lived with a constellation of mental health difficulties, including mixed anxiety and depression, and emotionally unstable personality disorder. At the time of her passing, she had been on the waiting list for an autism assessment for almost two years and for an appointment at the Gender Identity Clinic for over two and a half years. According to the expert instructed by the Coroner, Dr Duncan Harding, the delay in accessing specialist treatment intensified Armanih’s distress. Indeed, in the months before her death, Armanih told her probation worker that the delay in her autism assessment and treatment for gender dysphoria was having a negative effect on her. NHS England report to the Coroner stated that those seen for a first appointment in September 2023 by a Gender Dysphoria Clinic had on average, been referred seven years previously. Had Armanih survived, it is likely that she would still be awaiting an appointment. From January 2021, Armanih’s mental health began to spiral downwards. On four occasions in the two months before her death, staff members from different departments within the North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) had sufficient contact with Armanih or her close family members to enable them to reasonably know about the risk to Armanih’s life. Similarly, significant red flags were raised to Armanih’s probation officer following Armanih’s tumultuous presentation in court on the morning of 8 March 2021. In his live evidence, Dr Harding stated that, on the balance of probabilities, Armanih’s death could have been avoided had she been referred back to the Mental Health Access team on any one of these occasions. Angela Lewis-Campbell described her daughter’s capacity to cope with the adversities presented to her by her gender dysphoria and mental health difficulties as “like walking along the branch of a tree. She felt strong and stable until at some point she simply could not take it anymore and she snapped.” Ms Lewis-Campbell was highly critical of the police, stating that racism and transphobia characterised their interactions with her daughter. She stated: “the police are trying to get away with this because they know they made mistakes.” Mr Daniel Cooper, the family’s representative, said that the long waiting times for an autism assessment and gender treatment deprived Armanih from accessing the medical assistance she needed so acutely. In the months leading up to Armanih’s death, the public bodies tasked with protecting her deflected responsibility and failed to recognise her deteriorating behaviour as symptomatic of a relapse in her mental health difficulties. The Coroner issued a report to Prevent Future Deaths to NHS England as follows: a waiting list of 7 years for an appointment at the Gender Identity Clinic is extremely long and exposes the challenge of how those are on the waiting list are to be supported. There was a lack of clarity from the evidence that those working with people awaiting treatment from the gender identity services knew who was responsible for the care of those on the waiting list, whether is it the Gender identity Clinic, the community mental health services or the GP. The Coroner is enquiring whether the Gender Identity Clinic could do more to assist with training for local services. She was also concerned about the lack of awareness as to when bridging hormones could be prescribed by the GP, and considers the Clinic should ensure their Protocol l is widely accessible to those treating young trans-people who may obtain off-prescription hormones from the internet. The family are represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Mr Daniel Cooper and Ms Francesca Dickens of Imran Khan and Partners Solicitors and Ms Sophie Walker of One Pump Court Chambers. Interested Persons NELFT is represented by Mr David Story of Hailsham Chambers. The Metropolitan Police Service are represented by Mr Darragh Coffey of One Crown Office Row. The London Probation Service are represented by Ms Clare Hennessy of Serjeants' Inn Chambers and Ms Sian Reeves of Temple Garden Chambers represents the Ministry of Justice and Probation Service. The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham are represented by Mr John McNally of Drystone Chambers. For further information, please contact Francesca at [email protected]. ENDS If reporting about self-inflicted or involving self-harm, the media release should include a link to the Samaritans Media Guidelines for reporting suicide and self-harm.