13th June 2014

2pm Monday 16 June, listed for two weeks
West London Coroners Court, 25 Bagleys Lane, London SW6 2QA
Before Assistant Coroner Jeremy Chipperfield

Brian Christopher Dalrymple, 35 years old, died on 31 July 2011 from a ruptured aorta while in detention at Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre.

Brian was an American citizen and had come to England on holiday from Philadelphia, USA.  He suffered from an anxiety disorder and schizophrenia.  He arrived in the UK on 14 June 2011 and sought entry as a tourist but was refused entry and was instead detained overnight at Harmondsworth. The following day when he returned to the airport he refused to board the plane and was returned to Harmondsworth.  He subsequently stated that he wanted to claim asylum but about two weeks later he withdrew his asylum claim.   In his immigration file it was recorded that although he was not documented as having any psychiatric condition he did not give the impression of being completely rational in his thinking. 

While still at Harmondsworth a referral was made to Hillingdon hospital as he had dangerously high blood pressure and an enlarged heart.  It appears that Brian then discharged himself against advice.

Brian’s psychiatric condition began to deteriorate significantly and he was placed in segregation. His behaviour was noted as ‘strange’ and he was recorded as being incoherent and whispering and muttering to himself. Despite this, staff at Harmondsworth did not explore any possible medical reasons for his deteriorating behaviour. 

For reasons that are currently unclear, Brian was then transferred to Colnbrook.  He arrived there without his medical records and staff at Colnbrook were not made aware of his recent hospital admission and his current state of health.  Staff there did identify that he had mental health problems and made an appointment for him to have a full mental health assessment with a psychiatrist but he died on 31 July 2011 before he had an opportunity to see anyone.

There are 7 properly interested parties in this inquest, including GEO Group UK Ltd, Nestor Primecare Services Ltd, Serco Group PLC, Dr Hamid, The Practice PLC, the Home Office and Hillingdon Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Deborah Coles, co-director of INQUEST said:

“This is a shocking death of an extremely vulnerable mentally and physically ill man. Serious questions need to be asked about the quality of care he received while being detained by an immigration system that seems totally unfit to safeguard the needs of vulnerable people, and is known to exacerbate mental and physical ill health.”

Brian’s death is the second death in Colnbrook IRC. The jury at the inquest into the death of Muhammad Shukat who died there on 2 July 2011, 28 days before Brian, concluded that neglect contributed to his death.

INQUEST has been working with the family of Brian Dalrymple since his death. The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Jocelyn Cockburn and Lucy Cadd from Hodge Jones and Allen solicitors and barrister Nick Armstrong from Matrix chambers.


Notes to editors:

  1. Photographs of Brian are available on request