Mother of man who died on A14 pleaded for him to be sectioned, inquest hears

The Coroners Court at Beacon House, White House Road, Ipswich

The Coroners Court at Beacon House, White House Road, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

The mother of an Ipswich man says she pleaded with his mental health worker to section him the day before he died after being struck by a car on the A14,

Alex Dowds, 32, of Melrose Gardens, died on March 15, 2017, after he was hit by a Nissan Primera on a stretch of the eastbound carriageway near Nacton.

Crash investigator PC Geoff Cribbs told an inquest in Ipswich yesterday there was nothing the driver could have done to avoid the collision.

The inquest heard Mr Dowds had struggled with mental health issues since he was young and had recently been diagnosed with catatonic depression and schizophrenia as well as being on the autistic spectrum.

Senior coroner Nigel Parsley told the inquest Mr Dowds’ mother Helen had asked her son’s mental health case worker at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) to section him the day before he died as he had told her he had not been taking his medication for the past six months. He had also told this to his care worker.

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The inquest also heard that Mr Dowds had been picked up by police on the Orwell Bridge and returned home on the day of his death but that this information had not been passed on.

A statement from Mrs Dowds was read aloud by the coroner.

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It read: “Alex was my only son and I am heartbroken.

“I feel I tried to inform support workers his mental health was deteriorating. I know he wasn’t taking his medication. I tried my best to convince him to take it. “I believe more could have been done to help Alex.”

Mr Parsley told the inquest that in the days before his death Mr Dowds had stayed with a close family friend who noted a severe deterioration in his mental health.

The friend said Mr Dowds was having a psychotic episode, had become “very depressed and monosyllabic” and was having delusions and had contacted his case worker to warn them.

However, Mr Dowds was deemed not to be at high risk as he had not personally voiced that he was having suicidal thoughts and his care worker believed being sectioned could make him withdraw from treatment altogether

The inquest was told that Mr Dowds had not believed his diagnosis of schizophrenia and did his best to hide his mental health problems.

The inquest continues.

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