Two people would still be alive if NHS had acted on warnings says Hampshire gunman’s father

THE father of a Hampshire man who fatally shot his neighbour before being killed in a motorcycle crash during a police chase has said NHS mental health services failed to act on warnings just weeks before the incident.

Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 1:47 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 1:57 pm

Alex Sartain shot children’s author and parish councillor James Nash outside his home in Upper Enham, near Andover, on August 5.

He died three days later in hospital.

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NHS. Pic: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Mr Sartain, 34, died when he crashed his motorcycle later on the day of the shooting while being pursued by police.

His father John said he had warned Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust two weeks prior to the incident that his son needed urgent help after suffering from extreme paranoia - and had previously been sectioned twice.

Mr Sartain, who runs a vintage motorcycle repair business, said: ‘They told me to phone the doctor but the doctor questioned why they told me to phone them when there was nothing they could do.

‘It’s pretty poor, if he had never had a problem before I could understand it.

‘They should have done something more than they did, they were just passing the buck to someone else.

‘If they had acted when I told them, then two people would still be alive.’

A spokesman for Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘We were shocked and saddened to learn about this tragic incident and our thoughts are with family members at such a difficult time.

‘What happened is currently the subject of investigations by the police, the IOPC and will be heard by a coroner at an inquest in due course.

‘The trust is fully co-operating with these investigations and we are reviewing our own contact with Mr Sartain and his family.

“It would not be appropriate for us to comment further while these investigations are ongoing.’

Mr Nash served as the vice chairman of Enham Alamein Parish Council, and was described by Phil North, leader of Test Valley Borough Council, ‘as a kind-hearted individual and a proactive parish councillor who cared deeply for his community’.

Inquests into the deaths are set to be held in April next year.

Hampshire Constabulary made a mandatory referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) over its involvement in the incident.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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