Pressure grows for inquiry into death

Two MPs have called for a public investigation
into the death of David “Rocky” Bennett, who died while under
restraint as a psychiatric patient in the Norvic Clinic regional
secure unit, Norwich, in October 1998.

Local Labour MPs Helen Clark and Ian Gibson
have tabled an early day motion which has welcomed the Department
of Health’s commitment to work with Norfolk Health Authority in
setting up an inquiry panel into Bennett’s death. But they want a
fuller investigation into the circumstances surrounding the
incident – particularly any role played by racism – and into
control and restraint procedures, so that the lessons can be
applied throughout mental health services.

An inquest – which did not take place until
two and a half years after Bennett’s death – heard in May that he
died after being held down by at least three staff for 25 minutes.
The jury returned a verdict of accidental death, aggravated by

The early day motion also “regrets the
continuing failure of the Department of Health to give reasons for
the lack of support for a full public inquiry”, and draws attention
to mental health charity Mind’s promotion of “The Rocky Bennett
Campaign”, which is calling for an independent public inquiry.

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