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Ex-Choirboys singer jumped in front of train

Patrick Aspbury, 23, became a star after joining the three-piece boyband the Choirboys in 2005 but suffered with schizophrenia and killed himself last year

A singer who rose to fame as a member of the world’s first choir boy band killed himself by jumping in front of a train, an inquest heard.

Patrick Aspbury, 23, became a star after joining the three-piece boyband The Choirboys in 2005 – but would later struggle with mental illness.

An inquest into his death heard he was undergoing treatment for schizophrenia when he died in April of last year.

A jury were told how Patrick had been an inpatient of a mental health ward at the Linden Centre, in Broomfield, Essex, undergoing treatment for schizophrenia.

On the day he died, Patrick had been allowed out on leave from the ward.

He caught a bus from The Blue Lion pub, in Great Baddow, Essex, before getting off at the station where he bought a ticket to Witham, Essex, at around 3.20pm.

During the inquest jurors were played CCTV footage which showed Patrick sitting down for a short while, before jumping into the path of the train.

The court heard how the driver of the train, which had been travelling at 60mph, had applied the emergency brake but was unable to stop it in time.

The jury were told how Patrick had made comments about jumping in front of a train during an open therapy session only two days prior to being allowed leave.

Several members of staff from the Linden Centre attended the inquest to give evidence.

Jonathan Ficken, an occupational therapist, said he had spoken with Patrick about his suicidal comments during a walk.

Patrick Asbury, centre, with bandmates CJ Porter-Thaw (left) and  Ben Inman (right), found fame as a member of the boyband The Choir Boys in 2005

Patrick Asbury, centre, with bandmates CJ Porter-Thaw (left) and Ben Inman (right), found fame as a member of the boyband The Choir Boys in 2005

Mr Ficken said that Patrick had claimed he made the comments to shock people and that he felt upset he had to take medication.

Linden Centre psychiatrist Dr Flechtner told the court that Patrick had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and that he had found this diagnosis hard to accept.

Patrick had been an inpatient of a mental health ward at the Linden Centre, in Broomfield

Patrick had been an inpatient of a mental health ward at the Linden Centre, in Broomfield

Dr Flechtner testified that the plan was to move Patrick into supported housing and that Patrick never seemed at risk of self-harm or of suicide.

Patrick’s father, Peter Asbury, also gave evidence during the hearing.

Mr Aspbury told the court how Patrick’s increasingly difficult behaviour led to his being sectioned five times from 2014 until his death.

Mr Aspbury also criticised the ‘sleepiness’ of the Linden Centre, stating his son was ‘bored’ and that there were some staff members who were just ‘doing a job’.

He suggested that there should be a ‘patient champion’ to ensure the voice of the patient is taken into consideration when decisions are made that affect their care.

When Mr Aspbury picked Patrick up from the centre on the day of his death, he described his son as in ‘a constant state of worry’ and said he was not forthcoming at all.

Despite Patrick’s remarks about wanting to jump in front of a train just two days before his death, he was still allowed out on temporary leave from the centre.

But several hours after this conversation took place, Patrick left his father’s house and headed to Chelmsford station.

The jury at Essex Coroners’ Court returned the verdict that Patrick had committed suicide.

Police are investigating the deaths of 25 patients of an Essex NHS Trust running the centre where Patrick was cared for before his death, it emerged yesterday.

A police investigation has been launched into the deaths of patients at mental health centres run by North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Matthew Leahy (pictured with his mother Melanie) was found hanging at the Linden Centre in 2012

A police investigation has been launched into the deaths of patients at mental health centres run by North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Matthew Leahy (pictured with his mother Melanie) was found hanging at the Linden Centre in 2012

As well as deaths at the Linden Centre, near Chelmsford (pictured), police are now looking at deaths at eight other centres, it emerged today

As well as deaths at the Linden Centre, near Chelmsford (pictured), police are now looking at deaths at eight other centres, it emerged today

Detectives had been looking into the deaths of seven people in the care of North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust after 20-year-old Matthew Leahy was found hanging at the Linden Centre in Chelmsford, Essex.

The investigation has now been expanded to examine the deaths of up to 25 people at nine different mental health units run by the trust since 2000.

MPs Priti Patel, who is the local MP for many of the families, and Norman Lamb have urged Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to order a public inquiry.

Two years ago a Care Quality Commission report found improvement was required and warned there were too many places at the Linden Centre where patients could hang themselves. 

Matthew Leahy, who suffered mental health problems following cannabis use, was not allowed visitors for the first seven days to ‘let him settle on the ward’.

A week after admission a doctor contacted his mother, Melanie, to say he had been found dead in his room.

The expansion of the investigation was revealed by 5 News during the inquest into the death of Patrick Aspbury.

  • For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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