Published Monday February 28 2022
Jason Lennon died on 31 July 2019 following a period of forced face down restraint by security guards in the ExCel Centre, and whilst suffering an acute psychotic episode which his local mental health team had failed to identify or manage.
After hearing 17 days of evidence an inquest jury has found a catalogue of failures by a East London Foundation NHS Trust mental health team stretching back months, which saw Jason effectively slip through the net in spite of his complex needs. In particular, in the days and hours before his death mental health staff failed to spot that Jason was relapsing and to arrange the care he needed and which was known to be very effective. Jason was in consequence very ill and highly vulnerable when he made his way to the ExCel Centre on the day of his death. The jury found that the security guards there used excessive force in restraining Jason on the ground in the face down position, and that this use of unreasonable force was a factor in his death. They rejected the security guards’ claims that Jason was still moving and communicating when the police arrived to take over.