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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 November, 2004, 15:42 GMT
Care team criticised after death
The brother of a schizophrenic man who died while being restrained by police has criticised social services for the way in which they handled him.

Michael Freeman told Tuesday's inquest into the death of his brother that he was "frustrated" by the lack of help.

Giles Freeman, 37, was taken to Slough police station on 15 October, 2002, after "lashing out" at his mother.

Mr Freeman was placed in a cell and given a sedative. He later "turned blue" and died shortly afterwards.

Things almost had to be in a state of no return before we could get anything done
Michael Freeman
On the day before he died, a social worker had begun attempting to make arrangements to obtain a warrant to enter Mr Freeman's flat and have him assessed under the Mental Health Act.

But the move was put off until the following morning after a conversation between the social worker and Mr Freeman's mother, as well as difficulties obtaining a magistrate, the inquest heard.

But in the early hours of Wednesday, his behaviour deteriorated and police were called by one of his sisters, fearing for her mother.

After collapsing at the police station, he was taken to hospital where he was declared dead.

'Conflicting' information'

Michael Freeman told Windsor Coroner's Court that he had repeatedly spoken to his brother's social worker, Peter Oldham, warning that his condition was deteriorating and that he needed to be taken to hospital.

He told the court: "I made a comment that sticks in my mind, I said: 'We are in for a bad one here'.

"I was frustrated at the lack of help that we had in the run up. Things almost had to be in a state of no return before we could get anything done."

But Mr Oldham told the court that Giles Freeman had missed appointments and that his mental state "fluctuated".

"I think it was probably borne out over the last month of his life...by the fact that I was having difficulty seeing him, a lot of the information from the family was conflicting.

"Some days I was told that he was doing ok, others that he certainly wasn't," he added.

The inquest continues.


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