“Broken” mum of patient killed by train demands “answers” to how he left ‘secure’ unit

EXCLUSIVE: Michelle Booroff’s son Jayden, 23, was sectioned under the Mental Health Act for his own safety but was found dead at Chelmsford station four days later

The “broken” mother of a mental health patient hit by a train demands to know how he absconded from a secure unit.

Grieving Michelle Booroff heard son Jayden, 23, sectioned under the Mental Health Act for his own safety, was being checked four times an hour.

Yet on October 23, four days after being admitted to Linden Centre in Chelmsford, Essex, he was found dead at the city’s station.

The tragedy is the latest scandal to hit the unit.

Michelle said: “I want answers and I want the truth.”

Talented singer and dancer Jayden, who worked as a waiter, had appeared in National Youth Music Theatre shows.

The Linden Centre in Chelmsford, Essex (Image: Ric Fothergill)

Michelle said she was a “broken mother”.

A family statement said: “Jayden made all his friends and family burst with pride often through his amazing talent as singer, musician and in performing arts.

“He would often be round, gathering ­family and friends around a piano, wowing us with his effortless ability to improvise and create.

“His beautiful soul will live on through our wonderful memories, his words of wisdom and his eagerness to help those around him.

“Life will never be the same without his presence. We are all devastated.”

Last year the Sunday People revealed that a Linden worker meant to be watching at-risk patients had been dozing.

Last month a Health Minister announced an independent review into a “series of tragic deaths” at the unit between 2008 and 2015.

Peter Aspbury, whose son Patrick, 23, died in 2017 when he was hit by a train hours after leaving Linden, said: “My heart goes out to this young man’s family. I know how dreadful it is – the disease, then the ending.”

Peter, 70, said the NHS must reform its mental health services. He said patients at Linden had been wandering about with nothing to do.

“They are bored out of their minds. It’s not treatment, it’s ridiculous.”

Melanie Leahy and her son Matthew

Melanie Leahy, whose son Matthew, 20, died at Linden in 2012, and 48 families “failed” by Essex mental health services are calling for a public inquiry into the unit.

Matthew’s inquest found he had been subjected to “multiple failings over a long period” at Linden.

Melanie said: “This latest death makes it clear there is something going very seriously wrong with Essex health care services.”

The Nursing and Midwifery Council later disciplined three staff for falsifying care plans for him

Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the centre, has launched an investigation into Jayden’s case.

It said: “Our thoughts and condolences are with their family and loved ones at this incredibly difficult time.”

The Trust is due to appear in court on Thursday for alleged safety failings over fixed potential ligature points following 10 patient deaths.

ByAlan Selby

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