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Man killed by Finsbury Park train asked for help just two days earlier

PUBLISHED: 14:14 04 December 2013 | UPDATED: 14:14 04 December 2013

Finsbury Park Tube station

Finsbury Park Tube station

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A man who died when he was hit by a train at Finsbury Park station had asked to be taken in to hospital two days earlier as he was having suicidal thoughts.

Anthony Quigley – who had made two attempts on his life since 2010 – told a community care co-ordinator he had thought about running in front of a car or jumping off a bridge on August 8 last year.

Bed shortage

But despite referring Mr Quigley, 53, for assessment on August 9 – which found he should be admitted – he was never taken to St Ann’s Hospital, Tottenham, due to a lack of beds.

St Pancras Coroner’s Court heard how Mr Quigley, who lived with his father, Patrick, and younger brother, Stephen, in Elder Avenue, Crouch End, was killed the next morning when he was hit by a northbound Victoria line train at 8.44am.

Ernest Ossei, a nurse who helped assess Mr Quigley the day before his death, told the inquest: “At the assessment it was decided that Mr Quigley should be admitted.

“I filled in the assessment form and handed it to the two senior nurses and I therefore had no responsibility regarding what happened the next morning.”

Mr Ossei would usually have continued to work on the assessment team for the rest of the day, but said that due to staff shortages he had to be transferred to the treatment team. He told the court: “I should have stayed, but due to staffing levels I couldn’t. I should have refused, but I couldn’t because the job had to be done.

“I’m so sorry about what has happened. I apologise about what has happened, I’m so sorry.”

Mr Quigley was described as suffering from schizophrenia, depression, insomnia and obsessive thoughts, the most dominant of which was the recurring fear that his family would be taken away from him.

He had been in regular contact with Barnet, Enfield and Haringey NHS Trust since August 2011 and was admitted to the Whittington Hospital in early 2012 after he tried to electrocute himself.

Calmer

Mary Fayley, community care co-ordinator, who referred Mr Quigley after the visit on August 8, said: “I thought the immediate risk of suicide was low... I did think that Anthony was a high risk given his past, but I thought that with the right help he would be OK.

“He seemed to be calmer and content once we discussed the plan of him being assessed and taken to hospital. He said he would go back to bed for the rest of the day and that he felt safe in the house.”

The inquest is expected to conclude tomorrow.


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