Jeroen Ensink ‘could have been saved’ if police had acted on killer’s mental health issues – inquest jurors conclude

Dr Jeroen Ensink was stabbed to death outside his home in Hilldrop Road, Holloway, in 2015. Picture:

Dr Jeroen Ensink was stabbed to death outside his home in Hilldrop Road, Holloway, in 2015. Picture: Nadja Ensink-Teich - Credit: Nadja Ensink-Teich

The heartbreaking death of Jeroen Ensink could have been avoided if his killer’s mental health issues had been acted on two months earlier, jurors have concluded at an inquest.

A narrative verdict delivered on Tuesday at St Pancras Coroner’s Court found the 41-year-old father was victim of an unlawful killing and if police had done their job he may still be alive today.

Dr Ensink, a senior lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, was stabbed to death outside his Hilldrop Crescent home on December 29, 2015. He was posting cards about the birth of his daughter 11 days earlier.

Killer Timchang Nandap was sentenced to an indefinite period in a mental health hospital in October 2016. But the inquest heard police had failed to record the mental state of the paranoid schizophrenic when he was arrested in Belsize Park six months ealier. In that incident, Nandap pulled a large knife and shimmied up a drainpipe to sit on a balcony. He fought police until a Taser was drawn.

The court heard there was “nothing recorded” on an officer’s custody record about Nandap’s “mental health crisis”. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) dropped the case against London School of Economics student Nandap six days before he killed Jeroen.

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In their verdict, jurors said: “If [Nandap’s] mental health issues had been identified and acted on by appropriate authorities, the unlawful killing of Dr Ensink could possibly have been avoided.

“If the police officers at the scene had collected adequate initial witness statements to present to the CPS, the individual would have been charged within 24 hours. It is not possible to predict the outcome of court proceedings, but it is possible his mental health issues would have been identified.”

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They also found the custody sergeant failed to act on concerns raised by arresting officers, the response team, Nandap’s sister and a detention officer. A custody interviewing officer also failed to act on unusual comments made by Nandap, and didn’t read a report with the mental health concerns.

Senior coroner Mary Hassell said she would make a prevention of future deaths report.

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