Will Youngs twin brother Rupert died by suicide after sneaking out of hospital – Irish Mirror

Will Young gave an impassioned speech on the decision by mental health services to not let a psychiatrist see his brother before he took his own life.

Rupert Young, 41, tragically died after falling from Westminster Bridge in London on August 2, last year, a coroner heard before ruling his death as suicide.

His death came a few days after paramedics saw him walking along the edge of the same bridge and he was admitted to hospital.

The coroner ruled he deliberately jumped off the bridge on July 30, the day he snuck out of St Thomas’ Hospital, before his body was found on August 2.

During the last day of the inquest, Will questioned a mental health nurse, who authored a report that found Rupert’s treatment was “appropriate”, over why a psychiatrist was not asked to assess him. He also questioned why addiction services suggested alcoholics like his brother wean themselves off alcohol with alcohol.

Will and his twin Rupert

Will and his twin Rupert
(Image: TIM STEWART NEWS LIMITED)

The Pop Idol winner said at St Pancras Coroner’s Court: “In my experience with Rupert, my twin, he was given medication to aid with the withdrawals.

“However when he was either discharged or as a pattern for Rupert, absconded, he wasn’t allowed to take this anymore.

“They are asked to wean themselves off by drinking alcohol. Do you think an alcoholic drinking 40 beers a day, do you think it’s at all viable, sensible, maybe even caring, to ask an alcoholic to then wean themselves off with the very drug they are dependent on?”

He was told by senior coroner Mary Hassell that the question was not allowed to be put to the witness.

Rupert had been admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital on July 24, the day after Pop Idol winner Will asked him to leave his Berkshire home, before discharging himself.

The coroner heard Rupert was then found by paramedics “walking along the edge” of Westminster Bridge on July 28. He was admitted to hospital for a second time and seen by two nurses at St Thomas’ Hospital that day – before leaving on July 30.

A report, written up by a mental health nurse from Lambeth Hospital and a doctor from Southwark Mental Health Service, found he had been cared for appropriately by committed staff, the inquest heard.

It found that Rupert had not discharged himself from St Thomas’ Hospital on July 30, but had “left without telling anyone and while staff were still in the process of putting a care package together for him.”

Mental health nurse Steven Badger, who co-authored the report, said: “We felt that the care Mr Young had received was appropriate both in terms of community, addictions and the crisis liaison service as well.

Will and Rupert as youngsters

Will and Rupert as youngsters
(Image: Instagram)

“He was not discharged from the hospital at St Thomas’ nor did he note his own discharge, he left the hospital without telling anyone while staff were still in the process of putting a care package together for him.

“Speaking to the staff involved we were both struck by how committed staff were to Mr Young’s care, he obviously made a significant impact on the people he had met.

“It was obviously a difficult situation in that most of the ways or times he accessed care was through crisis services.

“It seemed difficult to engage him in a structured way with community services but all staff involved had been quite flexible and had tried lots of different options to try to get the care he needed.

“They also had a pretty good idea of the sorts of troubles and difficulties he was dealing with before his death.”

In cross-examination of Mr Badger, Will’s lawyer asked the coroner if he could ask his own questions. Will asked: “Should he at least have been seen by a psychiatrist in view to an inpatient admission for his own safety?”

Mr Badger said: “The consultant psychiatrist and junior psychiatrist would have been involved in those decisions.”

Will continued: “Should they have gone to see a man who had been in hospital four times that week?

“Given all that, a junior or senior clinical psychiatrist should have seen my brother face to face. And in your opinion that wasn’t needed?”

Mr Badger replied: “The psychiatrist wouldn’t need to see everyone coming through the emergency department.”

Will then laughed and said: “Therein lies my problem.”

Will gave evidence at the inquest

Will gave evidence at the inquest
(Image: PA)

The coroner recorded a verdict of suicide.

Speaking outside the court, Will said he believes his brother should have been seen by a psychiatrist and sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

He said: “Those working for the NHS do an amazing job and within very difficult circumstances and it’s never been more hard-pressed than at the moment.

“However my brother is someone who had, in the weeks and months before his death, been into hospital countless times following suicide attempts.

“I am astounded that Rupert, having been found trying to jump off Westminster Bridge on July 28, was allowed to leave hospital two days later yet again, without ever having been referred to a consultant psychiatrist.

“It is my belief that it must or should have been obvious to all concerned that he was a high risk of suicide and should have been detained under the Mental Health Act for his own safety.

“Had this been done he might still be alive today. I know we are not the only family in this situation and I pray that lessons are learned from his situation and some of these deaths are prevented in the future.”

Earlier in the inquest, a nurse denied that he did not put Rupert under pressure to give up his hospital bed in the days before he died.

Will said his brother had attempted suicide before

Will said his brother had attempted suicide before
(Image: Getty Images)

He was trying to avoid becoming homeless and was trying to contact his father before discharging himself, the inquest heard today.

A lawyer for the Young family claimed Rupert may have been under pressure to leave the hospital without a plan because of demand for beds.

St Pancras Coroner’s Court heard Rupert was first admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital on July 24, the day after Pop Idol winner Will asked him to leave his Berkshire home.

He discharged himself and the coroner heard Rupert was then found by paramedics “walking along the edge” of Westminster Bridge on July 28.

He was admitted to hospital for a second time and seen by two nurses at St Thomas’ Hospital that day – before discharging himself again on July 30.

Psychiatric liaison nurse Dennis Mupita, who spoke to Rupert in the hours before he discharged himself on July 30, said he seemed “calm” but had denied help from the homeless team and was trying to contact his father.

Mr Mupita, who works for South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, said: “He mentioned his twin brother and mother. In terms of people he would look to, he said his brother was not an option at that time and he said he had been trying to call his dad, and his dad was not picking up.

“I didn’t really explore why he had said no [to the homeless team]. Whatever reason, I was respecting him for that decision, but the question was ‘if you are saying no to the homeless team what is it that you are coming up with?’

Will made a powerful statement outside court

Will made a powerful statement outside court
(Image: PA)

“He was calm and we had conversations about what was happening with his family. There wasn’t anything alarming. There were no triggers or red flags that made me feel to ask specific questions.”

Mr Mupita said he went to see another patient while Rupert waited to hear from his father but around four hours later was informed Rupert had left the hospital.

He said although there was no medical reason for Rupert to be on the ward, he would have been allowed to stay another night.

Godrun Young, representing the family, said to Mr Mupita: “There are a number of significant escalated risk factors that had come into play. The separation of his brother, the question of homelessness being another.

“He wanted to be admitted to a psychiatric ward to help manage his suicidal thoughts. He’s saying I’m going to be more suicidal if I’m made homeless.”

Mr Mupita said: “The issue with his brother obviously could have been stressful. We wanted to clarify why he refused the homeless team and whether he had something better.

“With the homeless situation that’s the reason why we needed to be very clear.”

Asked if he told a nurse Rupert was going to be discharged from hospital due to bed demand, he said: “That is definitely not true. I did not say anything like that.

“I said there isn’t input from anyone else so we can’t just let him stay here, we need to think about a plan to move him on.”

Will also gave evidence at the first half of the hearing in December, revealing he felt like Rupert’s ‘carer’ and had to kick him out of his home around a week before his death.

He previously said: “Rupert struggled with depression and anxiety and for 20 years we knew over that time – more times than I can tell you – of suicide attempts or suicidal ideation.

“It was a cry for help.”

Will said his twin brother was an alcoholic and during bad periods would drink around “20 beers a day” as well as struggling with an addiction to pain medication.

Will's brother's tragic death was ruled as suicide

Will’s brother’s tragic death was ruled as suicide
(Image: PA)

He said: “He had an inability to even make it to the loo. He was at that level. I had to [help him], I was a carer for him. But it became too much. He couldn’t look after himself.

“I couldn’t live in the house anymore. It had gone beyond my means and it was affecting my well-being.

“I stayed around the coroner and rang up the police to report him as a trespasser.”

Asked what had triggered the most recent depressive episode, Will mentioned the death of his dog Lola, and said the coronavirus pandemic meant he could not be around horses.

Mental health nurse Katie Lowe, who assessed Rupert on July 29, had written in his notes she did not think a psychiatric ward was appropriate for him.

Ms Lowe told the first half of the hearing in December that Rupert admitted he may feel suicidal if he left the hospital homeless.

She said: “I didn’t believe based on my assessment that [his death] would have been an intentional suicide.”

A post-mortem examination concluded Rupert’s cause of death was immersion.

If you’re struggling and need to talk, the Samaritans operate a free helpline open 24/7 on 116 123. Alternatively, you can email jo@samaritans.org or visit their site to find your local branch

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