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Young father died hours after being taken to A&E by police officers

PUBLISHED: 09:20 17 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:20 17 July 2019

Two inquests into the deaths of men who died in Norwich have been adjourned while further investigations continue. Photo: Antony Kelly

Two inquests into the deaths of men who died in Norwich have been adjourned while further investigations continue. Photo: Antony Kelly

A "loving" father died hours after being left at hospital by police following threats of self-harm, an inquest has heard.

Lee Lewis, 23, of Cavalry Ride, Norwich, died in the early hours of October 23, 2018, at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), after falling onto the A47 at Easton the night before at around 7.40pm.

A two-day inquest into the death of Mr Lewis, who had a son, now aged two, started at Norfolk Coroner's Court in Norwich on Tuesday, July 16.

His parents and long-term girlfriend, Lauren Peach, the mother of his child, were at the hearing.

The inquest heard Mr Lewis, who suffered with alcohol abuse, wanted to get a mental health assessment and made a 999 call to Norfolk Police on October 22, 2018, while making threats to harm himself in his flat with a weapon.

He was taken to the NNUH A&E department by two police officers but was left in the waiting room at around 2.50pm on October 22, according to PC Sally Nairn, who was one of the officers present.

After being seen by a junior clinician in A&E just before 4.40pm he was "restless" and wanted to self-discharge, according to Dr Izogie Eke, who assessed him.

Ms Nairn said: "When we arrived at his flat he felt in an unstable condition and wanted help. He wanted a mental health assessment."

He shared the flat with Miss Peach but their son was at his parents.

The police officer said Mr Lewis dropped the weapon as soon as the three emergency workers arrived. No-one was injured.

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She said Mr Lewis was "calmer and composed" when she left him at A&E.

The officer added she did not think it was "important" to mention to staff he had been in possession of a weapon.

"At no point did he say he wanted to end his own life. He stated he was happy to be left by himself," she added.

Giving evidence, Dr Eke said the consultation with Mr Lewis lasted about 15 minutes.

He told Dr Eke he had been hearing voices and had taken a drug with a drink a few days before.

The inquest was also told Mr Lewis had attempted to stop drinking alcohol two days before.

Dr Eke said: "He said he didn't want to hurt himself. He told me if he heard voices again he would come in for an assessment."

Mr Lewis self-discharged just before 5pm, before a mental health liaison nurse could assess him.

In a written statement, Miss Peach, described Mr Lewis, who had recently lost his job as a car delivery driver, as "loving","caring" and her "soulmate".

The inquest was told Mr Lewis had seen some health professionals and his GP in 2018 for mental health issues.

The inquest continues.

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