Millbrook patient died from a fall

A MILLBROOK patient who was discovered by the side of the River Maun in Mansfield died of multiple injuries, an inquest was told on Friday.

Dennis Cole (42) was wearing only a vest, underpants and a shoe when he was found at the foot of a bridge near Matlock Avenue at around noon on 7th June.

The Mansfield inquest was told that he was taken to King's Mill Hospital where he died later that day.

Mr Cole had been sectioned to the mental health unit and was being treated for a mental disorder after he was found wandering around Derbyshire in a frightened and agitated state in October 2003.

Just hours before his death Mr Cole told staff that he was going to a garden on the site to have a cigarette, but the alarm was raised when he failed to reappear at lunch time.

Staff on the Trent ward where Mr Cole was a patient told the inquest that his condition had been improving and he was allowed to go out around the hospital on his own.

They also said Mr Cole had shown no signs of wanting to commit suicide since his improvement and on the day he died he did not seem to be planning to abscond.

Said consultant psychiatrist Dr Katarzyna Siubka-Wood: "From February this year we felt we could reduce Dennis' level of observation.

"In his final three weeks there was no real change. There were no concerns expressed about him and nobody had any thoughts that he was suicidal."

Nurse Stefen Brudzinski told the inquest Mr Cole was a popular man who was liked by all the staff and in the time before his death had been very positive about a planned move to a secure rehabilitation unit in Grimsby.

"I cannot think of anyone who would have a bad word about him," he said.

"I had seen the unit in Grimsby and gave a detailed account of it to him. He was looking forward to the move."

A police investigation confirmed that Mr Cole had not been attacked or hit by a car and that it was believed he had fallen from the bridge.

Consultant pathologist Dr Oswald Dittrich said Mr Cole's injuries –– which included six fractured ribs and a collapsed lung — were consistent with a fall.

Nottinghamshire coroner Dr Nigel Chapman recorded an open verdict and told the inquest: "I cannot be convinced that he intended to kill himself.

"He left the hospital at around 11am and was found at about noon. There is one hour we cannot account for. We simply do not know what happened in that time."