7 September 2023

Before Assistant Coroner Rachel Spearing
Hampshire Coroner’s Court,
County Hall North (Parkside), Horsham RH12 1XH
Opens 11 September 2023 – scheduled to last 5 days

Michael Holland, 45, died a self-inflicted death on 2 December 2021, hours after Sussex police and paramedics found him self-harming during a welfare check. His death also came only three days after being released as an inpatient from Langley Green Hospital, Crawley. An inquest will now examine the circumstances.

Michael was a qualified personal trainer from Crawley in West Sussex. An avid artist and painter, he loved animals and nature and was never happier than when he was out in woodland taking pictures.

Michael had a long history of mental ill health and suffered chronic pain as a result of an attack in 2012. Over the years, he was sectioned several times as a result of suicide attempts and self-harm.

The Covid-19 pandemic greatly exacerbated Michael’s mental ill health. In 2021 he began experiencing psychosis. Michael became paranoid and frequently thought that people were trying to harm him.

On 8 October 2021, Michael’s mother called the police after becoming increasingly concerned for his welfare. Officers proceeded to detain Michael under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA).

After an initial assessment at Crawley custody suite and a brief stay at Mill View Hospital Place of Safety in Hove, Michael was taken to Langley Green. On 29 November, Michael was discharged from Langley Green, despite concerns raised by his mother. 

Two days later, paramedics and police officers went to Michael’s home to carry out a welfare check. As Michael did not open the door, officers forced entry into his house. They found Michael self-harming and he disclosed that he had also taken an overdose. The decision was taken to leave Michael, and no mental health assessment or referral was carried out.

Around 12 hours later, Michael was found dead in his flat from an overdose.

The inquest will now consider:

  • Michael’s mental health care and treatment, including his admission to and discharge from Langley Hospital and the actions of Sussex Partnership NHS Trust.
  • Post-discharge care provided by the Community Mental Health Team.
  • Michael’s chronic pain medication and the interaction with his mental health.
  • The actions and response of Sussex Police and South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) to Michael the day before his death. 

The family hope the inquest will address their concerns about the care that Michael received prior to his death and whether his death could have been prevented.  


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

A photograph of Michael is available here.

The family are represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Jenny Fraser and Jazz Balmer of Fosters Solicitors and Jonathan Metzer of 1 Crown Office Row. They are supported by INQUEST Senior Caseworker Jodie Anderson.

Other Interested Persons represented at the inquest are Sussex Police, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SPFT) and Sussex East Central Ambulance (SECAmb).

Journalists should refer to the Samaritans Media Guidelines for reporting suicide and self-harm anguidance for reporting on inquests.