Jury in Sean Rigg inquest retires to consider verdict

originally by: The Independent  
published: 27 July 2012

The jury at the inquest into the controversial death in custody of Sean Rigg has retired to consider its verdict after hearing seven weeks of evidence.

Eleven jurors, three men and eight women, will deliver a narrative verdict next week [commencing 30 July 2012] after considering the adequacies of the care and treatment provided by mental health professionals and Metropolitan Police officers to Mr Rigg, 40, who died in August 2008 in Brixton police station around an hour after being arrested.

Mr Rigg, who had a 20-year history of a relapsing mental illness, was suffering an acute psychotic episode at the time of his death. The jury must decide whether nurses and doctors at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust failed to provide Mr Rigg with an acceptable standard of care or not.

The forensic mental health team’s failure to organise a mental health act assessment, the decision not to see Mr Rigg face to face in the week before his death, and the crisis plans in place to deal with Mr Rigg’s breakdowns have been criticised by an independent psychiatric expert at the inquest.

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