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Kieron Mapplebeck inquest: Ex-soldier’s step-mum slams ‘lack of police investigation’

PUBLISHED: 18:47 27 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:36 28 September 2018

Kieron Mapplebeck, 33, was found dead in his Barnsbury flat and his family believe social services could have done more to safeguard his wellbeing. Picture: Fiona Reynolds

Kieron Mapplebeck, 33, was found dead in his Barnsbury flat and his family believe social services could have done more to safeguard his wellbeing. Picture: Fiona Reynolds

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The step-mother of a Barnsbury man with mental health problems has again accused cops of failing to properly investigate her son’s death – but the coroner leading the inquest ruled his passing was “drugs related”.

St Pancras Coroner’s Court today heard how former soldier Kieron Mapplebeck died in his housing association flat at the Samuel Lewis Buildings, in Liverpool Road, on June 1. His older brother, Ricky, 34, was staying with him at the time.

After hearing the toxicology and post-mortem reports, Edwin Buckett, assistant coroner for inner London, ruled Kieron’s death was caused by a cocktail of drugs.

Speaking after the ruling, his step-mum, Fiona Ferguson, told the Gazette: “He was a generous spirited person who would help anyone.

“He was a charming and fun loving character who retained a huge sense of humour despite having difficulties and trauma in his life.”

The inquest heard that the emergency services were called by a friend of Kieron’s who said he had overdosed.

The door was unlocked when they arrived at the flat, which neighbours said was a common occurrence.

Paramedics arrived to find Ricky unconscious on the living room floor and Kieron lying dead in his bed.

During the proceedings DC Stuart Douglas gave evidence on behalf of Sgt Neil Clarke, of Islington Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

DC Douglas said: “From the scene a total of three mobile phones were seized. Two from the bedroom, believed to be Kieron’s.”

Cops managed to access Kieron’s mobiles, but couldn’t unlock the phone belonging to Ricky.

Addressing DC Douglas in court, Fiona said: “I was very concerned about the lack of investigation and I’m wondering why nobody has ever sought out Ricky and taken a statement?”

She also asked why officers didn’t ask Ricky for his pin number, saying he would have given it.

DC Douglas said: “I’m not sure why Ricky was not spoken to – I know there was some difficulty in information, suggesting he had been homeless in London for a period of time.”

Ricky has been sleeping rough since Kieron died and Fiona claimed she told cops were they could find him.

The coroner asked if any officers had asked for Ricky’s pin number. DC Douglas said no.

Fiona then asked: “Where you aware that family members were trying to contact police for 10 days following Kieron’s death and were told that phones were down and there were staff shortages?”

DC Douglas said: “I do not know the full circumstances around why that contact couldn’t be made.”

In his closing remarks the coroner said: “I understand your concerns about the police investigation but it’s limited what I can do in an inquest.”

Nazareene Sultana, of the Camden and Islington NHS Trust, had been assigned as Kieron’s social worker since 2014.

In a previous Gazette article Fiona expressed concern Kieron’s social worker would not be called to give evidence at the inquest.

But Ms Sultana submitted a written statement, which described how Kieron attempted to kill himself at Highbury and Islington Station in April 2017.

She added: “My last face-to-face contact [with Kieron] was on May 11 2018. During the meeting Kieron reported he had been drinking more alcohol in the last few weeks.

“Kieron requested a referral back to alcohol services and said he was struggling with his home.”

But Ms Sultana claims Kieron then missed two appointments to see her in May, where they were supposed to discuss moving him to a “crisis home”.

Ms Sultana said he was reluctant to enter a crisis home because he was “ambivalent about stopping alcohol”.

Dr Linna Palm, a consultant pathologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital conducted a post-mortem at the Whittington Hospital on June 11.

She noted “The post-mortem did not reveal any recent traumatic injuries”.

She added: “In my opinion the cause of death is was mixed drug toxicity, mainly combination of cocaine and GBH.”

A month later, Dr Rebecca Andrews carried out the toxicology tests at Imperial College London, noting Kieron had traces of the same his system.

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