Social Care ‘Let Down Drowning Victim’

The family of a man found dead in a car in the River Thames have criticised mental health workers, claiming they not been given enough help.

Daniel Beasley-Moore, of Croft Road, Wallingford, was found naked in his car, which was floating in the river near Cholsey Marsh nature reserve, on May 30.

Oxfordshire coroner Nicholas Gardiner said he could not be sure if it was Mr Beasley-Moore’s intention to take his own life and recorded an open verdict at the inquest in Oxford yesterday.

But his family insisted after the inquest that if they had known about his mental condition, they would have done something to prevent his death.

Mr Gardiner said: “He had made several gestures towards taking his own life, but I can’t be sufficiently sure that’s what he intended.”

The inquest heard the 33-year-old had a history of mental health problems, including depression, self-harm and a personality disorder.

Consultant pathologist Ian Roberts, from Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital, said a post mortem suggested that drowning was the cause of death.

Social worker Patrick O’Hanlon, based at Mary Tree House, in Mereland Road, Didcot, had visited Mr Beasley-Moore at his home the day before his body was found.

Mr O’Hanlon told the inquest that he was concerned about Mr Beasley-Moore’s suicidal thoughts and talk of self-harm which he said had become “more dominant”.

The family of the former teaching assistant said they felt let down by the social workers, who they claimed had not informed them of the true extent of Mr Beasley-Moore’s mental state in the weeks before his death.

His sister Kathryn Hawkett, 25, of Reading, said: “We could have done something to prevent it. I feel very disappointed, because he might still be with us today.

“The family were in the best position to monitor him. We prevented several suicide attempts before. We could have stopped him using his car.”

His mother Jill Moore, 53, of Honey Lane, Cholsey, said: “I just want the public to be aware that there wasn’t enough support for the family.”

She added: “Underneath it all he was a really nice quiet friendly sort of chap.

“I think it might have been my dad’s death from cancer which triggered it.

“We tried everything to sort him out, even hypnotherapy.”

The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust said it could not comment on individual cases.

However, its spokesman said: “Our thoughts go out to the family at this difficult time.

“As a trust, we not only support our patients, but their families too, especially following sad events such as this.”