Inquest into death of railway victim from Dunstable on hold

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An inquest into the death of a 20-year-old killed on a railway line was adjourned earlier today after vital evidence was deemed to be missing.

Retail worker Innocent “Fillip” Rusenza died on February 7 after being struck by a train south of Leighton Buzzard.

The day before, on February 6, Fillip had been reported missing by his mother.

He had been found by police late in the evening, and had been taken to Luton & Dunstable Hospital to be assessed under the Mental Health Act.

Fillip was released just four hours later into the care of a friend. He died at around 6.30pm later that day.

At today’s inquest at Ampthill, senior coroner Tom Osborne expressed surprise at the absence of information from the hospital.

Only one witness – from the British Transport Police – had been called to the inquiry.

Mr Osborne said: “It seems to me I’ve got nothing from the hospital and I don’t think I can conclude my inquiry until I have that information.

“My concerns are he was a vulnerable young man detained by the police, he was taken to J Wing [mental health wing] and he was assessed and taken home after four hours.

“A death such as this affects an awful lot of people.”

Fillip’s mother Gertrude Bollands, of London Road, Dunstable, sobbed through much of the proceedings.

She said: “We are really concerned because normally when they take somebody to assess their mental state under Section 136 it takes about 72 hours and I’m surprised that they released him into his friend’s care.”

Fillip had been staying with his paternal grandparents in Leighton Buzzard before going missing on February 6.

After offering his condolences, the coroner apologised to Mrs Bollands for the need to adjourn, adding that the matter “should have been flagged up earlier”.

He added: “I’m uneasy to allow this matter to proceed without a full investigation.”

It is expected a date will be set for the adjournment in the next 14 days.