Mum’s desperate search for answers seven years after son was found hanged

Mealnie Leahy and Matthew Leahy
Melanie Leahy nonetheless doesn’t know the reality about what occurred to her son Matthew, who died seven years in the past

It’s been seven years since Matthew Leahy was found hanged in his room at a psychological well being unit in Essex, days after calling his mum claiming he had been raped.

At simply 20 years of age he had his personal enterprise and goals of going travelling, however had begun to show indicators of delusional dysfunction a 12 months earlier.

His mum, Melanie, remembers feeling ‘relieved’ on the day he was tasered by police and sectioned at Linden Mental Center in November 2012.

Hoping Matthew would lastly get the therapy he wanted, she was suggested to go to him on the finish of the week after he textual content her saying ‘I’m in hell’.

But the subsequent time she noticed him he was useless on a trolley – and Melanie continues to be looking for answers seven years on



‘We thought he was going to a place of safety’ Melanie advised

‘I believed he was within the fingers of pros and he lastly would get the assistance he wanted.

Matthew Leahy was admitted to the Linden Mental Health Clinic on November 7, 2012 and was found hanged 7 days later
Matthew Leahy was admitted to the Linden Mental Health Clinic on November 7, 2012 and was found hanged 7 days later (Picture: Melanie Leahy)

‘Doctors stated he wanted time to settle, so I stated to him I’ll come and see you on the finish of the week. Well, I by no means obtained to see him alive once more.

‘On day seven I obtained a name from his physician to say Matthew has been found hanging and I simply collapsed.  By the time I obtained there, he was useless on a trolley.

‘I just wanted to kiss him but I was told ‘do not touch him, this is a crime scene’.

‘It’s been seven years and I nonetheless haven’t been given a the complete image of what occurred to my son on the day he died.’

Seven years of investigations 

An inquest into Matthew’s demise couldn’t conclude suicide and returned an open verdict – that means there was not sufficient proof to find out how he died.

Melanie was dealt an additional blow when Essex Police dropped a two 12 months investigation into the demise of Matthew and 24 others below the the care of the then North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (NEP) final 12 months.

Melanie lost her only child Matthew seven days after he was taken into a mental health unit (Picture: Mealnie Leahy)
Melanie thought her little one was going to a spot of security and nonetheless doesn’t know the reality (Picture: Mealnie Leahy)

The drive stated that whereas they found ‘clear and basic failings’, there was inadequate proof to convey company manslaughter expenses, leaving Melanie and different households ‘devastated’.



Most not too long ago, a Parliamentary Health and Social Care Ombudsman (PHSCO) investigation into Matthew and one other man’s demise uncovered a ‘systemic failure to tackle repeated and critical failings’  over 10 years.

‘What makes me sad is the fact that they are not learning from his death’ Melanie stated.

‘Matthew would be 27 now. Sometimes I will see his ex-girlfriend, she’s had two youngsters.

‘I’ve obtained to take a look at them and it kills me. I feel that needs to be my granddaughter. We are coronary heart damaged, even now.

‘I still haven’t had the possibility to grieve as a result of I’m nonetheless preventing this technique.  It’s destroyed my relationships. It’s taken over my life. I’ve had households contacting me within the care of the identical belief.

Melanie says no one has been held to account for Matthew's death
Melanie says nobody has been held to account for Matthew’s demise (Picture: Melanie Leahy)

‘It just brings it all back. There are too many Matthews.’

The Ombudsman report, revealed in June, stated workers on the Linden Centre falsified care plans after Matthew’s demise, didn’t take his rape declare significantly and didn’t shield sufferers from tools that could possibly be used for hanging.

It referred to as on NHS Improvements (NHSI) to conduct a nationwide overview into the belief’s failings and think about whether or not an additional government-backed public inquiry into his demise could be crucial.

However, the NHSI can’t begin its investigation till a separate ongoing overview, performed by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been full.

Melanie, 54,  has been advised it could possibly be one other three months till the HSE will determine whether or not to prosecute the belief or not, and isn’t ready to attend that lengthy.

Matthew Leahyis one of 25 people who died under the care of North Essex Partnership Trust over a 10 year period (Picture: Melanie Leahy)
Matthew is one in every of 25 individuals who died below the care of North Essex Partnership Trust over a 10 12 months interval (Picture: Melanie Leahy)

As the seventh anniversary of Matthew’s demise approaches, she has began a authorities petition calling for a  public inquiry into the 25 deaths below the care of NEP  and the ‘inadequate’ investigations that adopted.


She stated: ‘I’m calling for a public inquiry now. It’s been seven years and nonetheless nobody has been held account. What lengths do a bereaved father or mother must undergo to search out the reality?

‘A public inquiry could help save many lives.So much could be learnt from Matthew’s demise.

‘I am not just doing this for my Matthew, I am doing this for all the other Matthews out there. I will not rest until I find out the truth’.

You can signal Melanie’s petition right here.

Melanie Leahy thinks a government investigation could stop other young people could lost their lives at mental health facilities (Picture: Melanie Leahy)
Melanie thinks a authorities investigation may cease different younger folks dropping their lives at psychological well being amenities (Picture: Melanie Leahy)

The Trust’s response 

North Essex Partnership University Trust merged with one other belief in 2017 to type Essex Partnership University Trust (EPUT).

EPUT’s chief govt, Sally Morris, stated they have been co-operating totally with on-going investigations and supplied their  ‘deepest sympathies’ to the households who misplaced family members below the care of NEP.

She added: ‘Since 2017, when EPUT took over from the former NEP, we have co-operated fully with the Ombudsman’s investigations and with the police investigation.

‘We are continuing to co-operate fully with the Health and Safety Executive’s ongoing investigation.

‘We will carry out the Ombudsman’s suggestions and can assist NHS Improvement’s forthcoming overview into the previous NEP in each means doable.’



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