9th September 2016

Christopher Brennan died at Bethlem Hospital on 31 August 2014. He was 15 years old and had been admitted to hospital as a voluntary patient 6 weeks earlier following several incidents of self-harming.

He first began to experience mental illness about two years previously, leading to the involvement of his local Child Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and a number of hospital admissions. Six months prior to his death, Chris’ mental health began to deteriorate markedly, resulting in self-harm involving swallowing objects. During his 6 weeks at the Bethlem Hospital, Chris continued to exhibit a high level of vulnerability and risk, self-harming on numerous occasions, some of which resulted in A&E admissions.

On 31 August 2014 Chris pressed the emergency alarm following an incident. He suffered cardiac arrest and was later pronounced dead at Princess Royal University Hospital.

Chris’ family said:

“We still have many questions unanswered about the care and treatment provided to Chris at Bethlem hospital and we hope this inquest can finally give us some answers. We miss Chris dearly.”

Deborah Coles, INQUEST Director said:

“This inquest relates to the death of

a highly vulnerable child in the care of the state. Serious questions must be asked as to why Chris was not kept safe in the very place that should have protected him.

INQUEST has been working with the family of Christopher Brennan since November 2014. The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group member Tony Murphy from Bhatt Murphy Solicitors and Heather Williams QC from Doughty Street Chambers.

The family will not be making any further comment at this stage.