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Policeman 'feared injured 26-year-old musician was robbery victim', inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 18:31 22 May 2019 | UPDATED: 18:31 22 May 2019

Police were called to reports that Colin Christopher Currie had collapsed at The Dip near West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds on August 22, 2017. An inquest into his death is being held in Ipswich this week Picture: ARCHANT

Police were called to reports that Colin Christopher Currie had collapsed at The Dip near West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds on August 22, 2017. An inquest into his death is being held in Ipswich this week Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

The police officer first on the scene when a 26-year-old musician was found "barely breathing" initially feared he had been robbed, an inquest heard.

PC Daniel Witter was called to an area known as The Dip near West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds on the evening of August 22, 2017 to help an injured man he identified as Colin Christopher Currie.

Giving evidence to Mr Currie's inquest at Suffolk Coroner's Court in Ipswich PC Witter described arriving and finding headphones not connected to any sort of electronic device nearby. He also found an empty vodka bottle and energy drink.

The Bury-based officer described initially fearing Mr Currie may have been the victim of a robbery - which he flagged to his superiors - but third party involvement was later ruled out.

Mr Currie was rushed to West Suffolk Hospital where he died on August 25 after medics discovered he had suffered a bleed on the brain.

Area coroner Jacqueline Devonish also read out transcripts of two 999 calls made to the ambulance service describing a man who was "out cold" and "barely breathing".

The inquest heard Mr Currie had been admitted to psychiatric wards in Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich six times before he died.

He was referred to addiction support service Turning Point but failed to attend drop-in sessions or appointments.

Dr Albert Michael, a consultant psychiatrist at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, told the court he had diagnosed Mr Currie - who suffered repeatedly from episodes where he believed he was Jesus Christ - with drug-induced psychosis.

Mr Currie had admitted to his mother, GP and other health professionals that he was self-medicating with drugs such as amphetamines and cannabis.

Over a four-year period, mental health services had given and rescinded different diagnoses for Mr Currie, including paranoid schizophrenia, drug-induced psychosis and ADHD.

On Tuesday, his mother Bernadine Scott-Currie said: "Colin was gregarious, he loved singing, writing, and he was a champion for the underdog.

"As he became older he found living life very difficult, he told me it felt like his brain was running at 100mph."

Mr Currie was sectioned and taken to the NSFT's Poppy Ward at Ipswich Hospital on August 11, 2017.

When discharged he was given temporary accommodation in Ipswich's Cavendish Lodge homeless shelter.

After his death a Serious Incident Requiring Investigation (SIRI) report was carried out by the NSFT into his treatment on Poppy Ward.

The inquest continues.

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