Search

Hampstead IT consultant ‘hunted like suicide bomber’ and wrongly sectioned on secure psychiatric ward

08:00 09 January 2014

Aaron Dover has threatened legal action after he was wrongly sectioned on a maximum security psychiatric ward. Picture: Polly Hancock

Aaron Dover has threatened legal action after he was wrongly sectioned on a maximum security psychiatric ward. Picture: Polly Hancock

Polly Hancock

A man is threatening legal action after he was wrongfully sectioned on a high security psychiatric ward following a major police hunt.

"I was hunted down like a nuclear suicide bomber rather than someone out for Sunday breakfast"

Aaron Dover

Hampstead resident Aaron Dover has spoken of his incarceration at Highgate Mental Health Centre in a bid to raise public awareness of the complexities of mental health issues.

The 39-year-old IT consultant was sectioned against his will last September and forced to take anti-psychotic drugs daily while he was in hospital. But within two weeks a tribunal found his detention was not justified and he walked free.

Mr Dover, who lives in Keats Grove, Hampstead, relived the drama of the day he was captured and told the Ham&High: “I was brought into hospital by a major police manhunt of over 10 police cars, police with dogs trawling Hampstead Heath, and a police helicopter, while I was out quietly having a coffee on Flask Walk.

“The police escalated to a ‘high risk missing person’ manhunt. I was hunted down like a nuclear suicide bomber rather than someone out for Sunday breakfast.”

The former University College School student had been under intense pressure due to an employment dispute and had at times suffered from depression.

On September 15, his wife called the NHS 111 out-of-hours number concerned for his wellbeing.

Authorities feared he may be suicidal and within the hour he was tracked down by police in Grove Place, Hampstead.

The IT consultant was taken to Highgate Mental Health Centre where doctors suspected he had a delusional disorder and eight days later he was sectioned.

Mr Dover, an intermittent user of cannabis for 24 years including highly potent skunk, admits he was under intense stress but believes his sectioning was based on hearsay and not enough was done to verify his account of events.

On October 2, following a five hour hearing, a tribunal found that it was “not satisfied that he was suffering from a mental disorder”.

He was freed immediately with no further treatment required.

Mr Dover is now consulting lawyers about a case for unlawful detention, medical negligence and personal injury.
Solicitor José Grayson, of DH Law, who represented Mr Dover at the tribunal, said: “The hospital had simply failed to properly investigate what Aaron was saying.

“It is now some months since Aaron’s discharge. If they were right about the fact that he had a serious psychotic illness then he would be back in hospital.”

Jonny Simmons, founder of website Pure Thought, said: “It reveals just how fragile anyone’s life is and how any one of us could find ourselves, if a few circumstances turn against us, at the wrong end of mental health services in the UK.”

A spokesman for Highgate Mental Health Centre said: “The tribunal make a decision on whether further detention is warranted based on the assessment to date and their own interviews.

“The decision that no further detention is needed does not make the original detention for assessment wrong or illegal as without the assessment the tribunal would not have had the evidence on which to base their evaluation.”

0 comments

Latest News Stories

12:30
Tessa Walker with her award. Picture: Paul Starr

A Whittington Hospital nurse has been recognised at the Young Epilepsy Champions Awards.

08:00
Peter Barber, Head of Map Collections, British Library

Historian Peter Barber OBE is head of maps at the British Library and has lived in or near Highgate nearly all his life. The 66-year-old, now of Crouch End, sits on the council at Lauderdale House and has documented its history in 1993 tome, Lauderdale Revealed

Yesterday, 17:46
Mike Freer. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

With just under three weeks left until the general election, Conservative Mike Freer is locked in a fierce battle with Labour’s Sarah Sackman for re-election as Finchley and Golders Green MP. Tim Lamden caught up with Mr Freer ahead of the May 7 election.

Yesterday, 17:00
The boy dragged the female victim into the bushes in Ainger Road in Primrose Hill. Picture: Google Streetview

A boy has pleaded guilty to sexual assault after a woman was dragged into the bushes and had her clothes ripped off in a brutal attack in Primrose Hill.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Glen Moray whiskey could be winging its way to you.

The Glen Moray Classic is a classic Speyside single malt and forms the starting point for the Classic Range.

Seasons 1-4 on Blu-ray, as well as a shiny new Sony Blu-ray player could be coming your way!

To celebrate the fifth series of George RR Martin and HBO’s epic fantasy Game of Thrones, Ladbrokes is giving away a series one to four Blu-ray box set along with a Sony Blu-ray player to one lucky winner!

Digital Edition

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


Our trusted business finder