Open verdict recorded for mental health patient death

  • 14 March 2014
  • From the section Bristol
Michael Harris
Image caption Michael Harris's body was found 24 hours after he went missing

An inquest into the death of a man who fell from a railway bridge after absconding from a secure hospital has returned an open verdict.

Michael Harris, 26, died last year after leaving Fromeside medium secure unit, in Bristol, without permission.

He had been detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of his friend Carl James in Swindon in 2007.

Fromeside said it had tightened up how it dealt with patients who abscond.

Mr Harris's body was found 24 hours after he went missing, in January 2013.

An internal investigation by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, which runs the unit, concluded that staff had taken appropriate action.

A spokesman said its policy was now to identify any likely places a patient could go, and people they may contact, before they go missing.

An inquest jury at Flax Bourton Coroner's Court returned an open verdict on Mr Harris's death.

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