Inquest Opens Into Death Of Woman At Mental Health Unit In Essex
The family of a woman from Jersey who died on 4 March 2022 at Brockfield House, a secure mental health inpatient unit in Essex, hope the inquest into her death will provide answers about what happened to her.
Marion Michel died aged 56 while detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 as an inpatient at Brockfield House in Wickford, which is managed by Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT).
The government announced last week that an inquiry into mental health related deaths in Essex between 2000 and 2020 will be put on a statutory footing under the Inquiries Act 2005. As Marion’s death took place in 2022, it does not come within the scope of the inquiry. Marion’s death will instead be investigated at the inquest by HM Area Coroner for Essex, sitting with a jury.
Marion was born and raised in Jersey, and her family describe her as “kind and generous with a lovely smile and a hearty and at-times mischievous laugh”, as well as being “loyal, maintaining strong links with friends and family”. Marion had travelled widely, but Jersey was always important to her.
Marion was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1998 and had a history of intense periods of mental illness when she would hurt herself and, on two occasions, her partner. Marion was transferred to Brockfield House in 2018, after having been convicted of assault that year.
On 4 March 2022, Marion was found unresponsive and injured by staff at Brockfield House. Sadly, she did not recover from her injuries. The inquest into Marion’s death will be heard by HM Area Coroner Sean Horstead, sitting with a jury, from 5 July 2023, at Essex Coroner’s Court, Seax House, Victoria Road South, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1LX. The conclusion is expected on 14 July 2023.
Expert Opinion“Marion’s inquest will explore the care and treatment she received at Brockfield House, including the assessment and management of risk presented by Marion to herself and to others, her accommodation arrangements, and the context of Covid-19 lockdowns. We will support Marion’s family to ensure the inquest fully investigates these issues and considers whether changes should be made following her death.” Oliver Carter
Marion’s family are represented by Oliver Carter, a public law and human rights solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, and Caroline Allen, a barrister at 39 Essex Chambers. The charity INQUEST is also providing support to Marion’s family.