1st September 2017

Before HM Assistant Coroner Karon Monaghan QC
Sitting at Court 11, Royal Courts of Justice
The Strand, London

Opens Monday 4 September at 10:00am (evidence begins Wednesday 6)

Joseph Phuong, a 32 year old man of Chinese origin, died on 5 June 2015 following contact with the Metropolitan police and mental health services in West London.

Joseph had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and in times of crisis he would experience hallucinations. Two days before his death Joseph sought help from West Middlesex Hospital A&E as he was experiencing a mental health crisis.  He left the hospital without receiving a mental health assessment.

On the night of 4 June 2015 Joseph was detained by police under S136 of the Mental Health Act and taken to Springfield Hospital. No beds were available in the S136 suite. He was later taken to St George’s Hospital A&E where he was arrested and taken to Kingston Police Station.

After a period of detention at Kingston Police Station Joseph was admitted to Springfield Hospital. Due to concerns about his physical health Joseph was taken by ambulance to St George’s Hospital A&E. Shortly after his arrival he was declared dead.

Louise Rowland, Joseph’s sister, said:
“In the days leading up to his death, Joseph was in the midst of a mental health crisis and was in need of urgent mental health treatment. We have learnt that he was restrained at various stages and there are questions to be asked about the levels of appropriate help he received. We hope the inquest will help answer how Joseph came to die in these circumstances.”

Deborah Coles, Director of INQUEST, said:
“Joseph's death raises important questions about police and mental health services and how they respond to people in crisis. His family along with others contributed to the Angiolini review into deaths in police custody the publication of which has been subjected to unacceptable delay.”



For further information, please contact Lucy McKay on 020 7263 1111 or [email protected]

The Inquest will not be sitting Tuesday 5 September 2017.  Evidence begins Wednesday 6 September.

Neither the family nor INQUEST will be making further statements until the end of the inquest.

1. INQUEST has worked with Joseph Phuong’s family since 2015.  His family are represented by Inquest Lawyer Group member Nancy Collins of Hodge Jones and Allen Solicitors and Rajeev Thacker of Garden Court Chambers.

2. Other interested parties represented at the inquest are Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Independent Police Complaints Commission, South West London & St Georges Mental Health NHS Trust, Chelsea & Westminster NHS Foundation Trust, London Ambulance Service, Care Quality Commission and London Borough of Richmond.

3. Other upcoming cases involving police related deaths, all of which were also included in the Angiolini review include:
- Three police officers will stand trial at Birmingham Crown Court, facing charges of perjury and perverting the course of justice in relation to the death of Kingsley Burrell on 11 September.
- An Avon and Somerset police officer faces a misconduct hearing regarding conduct following the death of James Herbert in 2010 on 5-8 September. Full info here.

4. We await the delayed publication of the Independent review of deaths and serious incidents in police custody by Dame Elish Angiolini.

5. The Lammy Review of the treatment of, and outcomes for, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals in the Criminal Justice System is due to be published on 8 September.