4th December 2015

Norwich Coroner’s Court, Eastgate House, 122a Thorpe Road, Norwich, NR1 1RT before HM Senior Coroner Jacqueline Lake, scheduled to last for 2 weeks.

Christopher was a 36-year-old man who was physically fit and healthy and had a long- term goal of setting up his own business as a personal trainer.   In the weeks before he died his mental health deteriorated and he started to display symptoms of psychosis for the first time in his life.   Every attempt was made by him and his family to get immediate help at an earlier stage.  It took five weeks before he was assessed and admitted to Fermoy Unit.

Christopher suffered a fatal injury on 24 June 2013 at the s.136 suite of the Fermoy Unit, Kings Lynn, in the presence of staff of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, and officers from Norfolk and Cambridgeshire Police Constabularies.

In the 24 hours prior to the fatal injury, the family believe that Christopher had attempted to injure himself on four separate occasions whilst in hospital.

The family of Christopher Higgins said:

“Christopher was a hard working, focused and loving person. We desperately tried to get him the help he needed. We thought he would be safe at the Fermoy Unit. We hope that the inquest will bring to light what went wrong on 23 and 24 June and why Christopher died so tragically.”

Selen Cavcav, INQUEST caseworker said:

“The circumstances of Christopher’s death raise serious questions about his treatment and care by Mental Health Services and about the necessity of police involvement. Taking into account the lack of independent investigation into deaths in mental health settings,   we hope that this inquest will provide the robust scrutiny needed to examine what went wrong and whether Christopher’s tragic death could have been avoided”

INQUEST has been working with the family of Christopher Higgins since February 2014.  The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Sara Lomri from Bindmans LLP and barrister Adam Straw from Doughty Street Chambers.