Willesden man fell to his death at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington

Inquest hears 49-year-old former ASDA worker had previously stabbed himself in the stomach

A mental patient threw himself out of a hospital window two months after he tried to stab himself to death, an inquest heard

John Kofi-Tawiah, 49, of Elgar Avenue, Willesden, smashed his way through the glass with an oxygen cylinder and hurled himself from the eighth floor at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington.

The Ghanaian was assessed as being at high risk of self-harm and placed under 24-hour supervision after knifing himself in the stomach on April 23 last year, claiming ‘bad spirits’ had told him to do so.

However, his state of mind seemed to improve over the weeks until he was no longer treated as being at risk and was transferred to the Charles Pannett surgical ward to recover.


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On July 1, the day he died, the former ASDA employee, who remained under regular psychiatric care and was taking anti-depressants, was acting normally and even gave a nurse a friendly greeting.

Giving evidence, Mr Kofi-Tawiah’s niece Margaret Nyarko said her uncle had been talking strangely when she visited him a few days before his death.

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She added: “He said someone had told him they were going to jail him because they’d found out he stabbed himself.”

The nurses told psychiatrist Asim Mohammed, who was assured by Mr Kofi-Tawiah that nothing was wrong and he ‘must have been confused.’

Dr Mohammed said: “I had a very good rapport with this man and I trusted what he told me.

“From the last interview I didn’t think there was any cause for concern.”

Dr William Dolman, assistant deputy coroner, said he had ‘found no evidence of any system failure’ by the hospital.

He added: “That morning he seemed to be his normal self until he deliberately went to the window, smashed it and propelled himself to the ground.”

Verdict: Open

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