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Practising Buddhist monk jumped off motorway bridge after pleas for help

By Clare Butler | Walsall | News | Published:

A man who had been practising as a Buddhist monk jumped off a motorway bridge after being left alone in A&E - despite threatening to kill himself, an inquest heard.

Black Country Coroner's Court

Colin Nash, from Weston Crescent, Aldridge, was found on the southbound carriageway of J10 of the M6 on October 1.

Hours before he had threatened to jump from The Village Inn Hotel roof in Walsall, because of ‘hearing voices’.

Police and paramedics were alerted due to Mr Nash’s behaviour - but despite his pleas for help - he could not be detained due to limited police powers, Black Country Coroner’s Court heard.

Assistant Coroner Emma Whitting said that she would be writing to the chief constable in hope that their section 136 powers to detain a patient appearing to be mentally ill, could be reviewed in light of Mr Nash’s death.

A narrative conclusion was given.

"He could not work out what the voices were"

The 32-year-old had recently returned from Thailand where he was practising as a Buddhist monk.

However, he cited that he wished to return and on September 30 was dropped at the airport.

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But instead of catching his flight that evening, he got a taxi to the hotel instead.

At around 3.30am he was taken into A&E at Walsall Manor Hospital, where security staff were called after he threatened to throw an iPad at a paramedic as 'an act of desperation to be locked up', the hearing was told.

PC Craig Spencer, from Bloxwich Police Station, said: "Mr Nash said he could not work out what the voices were but they were whisperings. He said 'I do need help, these voices are going to make me do something' but we could not detain him because he voluntarily wanted to go to hospital."

Lee Timbrell, from West Midlands Ambulance Service who attended on the night, added: "It was very clear that he needed help, I advised the officers that it was not appropriate to take him to A&E as he could walk out at anytime - and that did happen."

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The cause of death given was given as brain injury due to traumatic head injury and pelvic bone fractures.

Hospital trust bosses admitted to not knowing how 'mentally unwell' Mr Nash was, and say that since the incident a system has been implemented where someone in a similar position would be 'thoroughly assessed' through a triage process and seen within 15 minutes.

Ms Whitting, assistant coroner, said: "There is no doubt in my mind that Colin Nash expressed fears he was facing to the ambulance, police and health service and he was clearly let down by them."

Speaking in court, Susanne Nash, Colin's mother, said he was a 'loving and caring person who loved travelling' and would 'do anything for anyone'.

Clare Butler

By Clare Butler
Senior Reporter - @CButler_Star

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