Press Release – Hospital death – family vow to fight on with civil proceedings against Mental Health Trust

Today a Coroner’s jury in Dover returned a verdict of suicide on the fourth day of an Inquest into the death of Seleana Mundey who died on 16th August 2007. She committed suicide by throwing herself from a bridge over the M20 near her home in Ashford, whilst on day release from the Arundel Mental health Unit at the William Harvey Hospital at Ashford.

It is the family’s case that there were wholesale failings in the care that Mrs Mundey received.

On 13th August 2007, those treating Seleana allowed the section she was being detained under to lapse. The hospital did not inform her husband of this nor of her recent behaviour which included self-harming and repeated absconding from the ward, and attempts to do so, on 10th, 11th, 12th and the evening of 13th August itself.

When she left the ward she would invariably make her way to a nearby bridge over the M20 Motorway.

When allowing Seleana home leave as a voluntary patient on 15th and 16th August the hospital gave Mr Mundey no direction or advice on her care.  It was on the second day of home leave that she took her life.

Nick Fairweather, of Fairweathers solicitors of Canterbury, who represent the family commented:-

“The family are grateful to the Jury for their time and care in considering the case.  The Inquest has, however, a limited remit.  I can confirm that civil proceedings will now follow in the High Court within which the 17 serious failings in the care which we allege, leading up to Seleana’s death, will be pursued as allegations of negligence against the Trust.

We will also, on behalf of the family, pursue an official complaint with the Trust concerning the manner in which the Inquest proceedings were conducted, for which the Trust was so roundly and rightly criticised by the Coroner”.

Brett Mundey, Seleana’s husband, speaking for the family said:-

“We all miss and think about Seleana every day.  We still feel her loss deeply and that she was let down by the health care professionals in whom she and we placed our Trust.”

Nick Fairweather was praised by the Coroner for his tenacity in representing the family at the Inquest.

If you are interested in contacting us regarding this case, please click here.

This case was featured on Meridian News on Wednesday, 30th September – and in the Ashford Kentish Express on Thursday, 1st October –