Patient who jumped to his death from Whittington Hospital window ‘did not mean to kill himself’

12:00 13 February 2014

Whittington Hospital. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Whittington Hospital. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton

A coroner has said that a man who jumped to his death from a fourth floor window at the Whittington Hospital did not mean to kill himself.

Vincent Fulham, 39, locked himself in a room and forced a restricted window open before falling into the courtyard below in the early hours of April 21 last year.

He was killed instantly.

Assistant coroner Selena Lynch found that doctors who examined him did not have any concerns about his mental health.

She recorded an open verdict at an inquest into his death at Poplar Coroner’s Court on Monday because she did not know why Mr Fulham, who did not have a job, jumped from the window.

“We will never know,” Mrs Lynch said. “It’s a guess and not a very educated guess. Whether it was a psychotic episode or an impulsive desire to end his life, I really don’t know. ­Nobody does. I don’t think he really meant to kill himself.”

Mr Fulham was taken to hospital three days prior to his death with chest pains and symptoms of antifreeze poisoning, though this was later discounted by doctors.

After two days of being kept at the hospital for observation, the heavy drinker became agitated, possibly from alcohol withdrawal.

Mr Fulham, who was staying at an Islington hotel before he was ­admitted, refused to take medication and became confused, wandering in and out of his fourth floor ward.

Although he grew calmer and agreed to sit with the two nurses on duty, at about 1am he locked himself in a visitors’ room before anyone could follow him.

The nurses screamed for security and tried to break into the room, but Mr Fulham jumped.

Andrew Jennings, deputy medical director of Whittington Health NHS Trust, admitted that Mr Fulham should have had a psychiatric assessment sooner but also said Mr Fulham’s situation was “quite complex” as doctors struggled to diagnose his illness.

The coroner said if Mr Fulham had had an assessment she was unsure that the outcome would have been any different.

A spokesman for Whittington Health NHS Trust said: “We would like to send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Vincent Fulham. The Health and Safety Executive confirmed our windows met the correct safety standards. We carried out a full assessment of the locks on all of the hospital’s patient accessible rooms to ensure staff can gain access and minimise the chances of a similar tragedy happening again.”

Latest News Stories

Kato Harris will appear at Isleworth Crown Court next Tuesday

This is the first picture of teacher Kato Harris who has appeared in court accused of repeatedly raping an underage girl.

Actresses Juliet Stevenson and Michelle Collins with volunteers and Alexandra's mum Lindsey Wylie from the Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation (AWTF) launch the Christmas food parcel appeal. Picture: Polly Hancock

A charity is marking the fifth anniversary of a Highgate schoolgirl’s death from cancer with the launch of a Christmas appeal to help children left without support following the closure of Kids Company.

Victims of the contaminated blood scandal: (left) Nick Hirsch, (right, from top) Clair Walton and her late husband, Colette Wintle and Mark Ward

Timetable for settlement on NHS scandal has slipped yet again say campaigners - as they wait to see if cash is allocated in chancellor’s autumn spending review

The London Fire Brigade has put forward proposals to axe 13 fire engines to save £11million

‘While a new website would be welcome, this should not be done at the cost of frontline cuts’ says fire resources committee chief

Yesterday, 18:01
Khayerul Miah, pictured, and his brother have joined IS in Syria

The two young men from Kentish Town who left the UK to fight for Islamic State (IS) in Syria are former pupils of Acland Burghley School.

Yesterday, 16:46
The government says the HPV vaccine is safe and will protect against deaths from cervical cancer

East Finchley mother accuses pharmaceutical industry and government of ‘ignoring generation of sick girls’ as European Medicines Agency finds no link between illnesses and cervical cancer jab

Yesterday, 15:58
Carl Ryan, who is charged with misconduct in a public office, outside court (Picture: Central News)

A detective who faked records - including witness statements by Whittington Hospital staff - thwarted three investigations into serious sex assaults, a court heard.

Yesterday, 12:18
Firefighters from West Hampstead were called to tackle the large blaze in Finchley Road - which burned for 72 hours

West Hampstead and Hornsey fire stations could both lose an engine under controversial cost-cutting proposals

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Tesco - Every little helps

Would you like to have the opportunity to win a huge £2,500 to spend at Tesco? Well with this amazing prize you can do exactly that! MyOffers are giving you the chance to get your hands on £2,500 to spend on anything you desire may it be free weekly groceries for the foreseeable future, a new TV, home decoration or even a new sofa!

You could get your hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge!

Here’s your chance to win one of the most feature-packed smartphones on the planet, from tech giants Samsung, The Samsung S6 Edge!

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder