A ‘kind’, ‘caring’ man was found dead at his new flat just days after moving in and leaving a mental health hospital.

Lewis Richardson, 29, died on Boxing Day 2021, just a week after getting the keys to a flat in Redcar and being discharged from the Roseberry Park mental health hospital in Middlesbrough, run by the problem-hit Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys (TEWV) NHS Trust.

He had previously been in hospital under the Mental Health Act and moved between stays in hospital and living with family or in temporary accommodation in the months before his death, an inquest held at Teesside Coroner’s Court heard on Tuesday.

He was found in a back yard at the flat on Henry Street in Redcar by his upstairs neighbour on the morning of December 26.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Lewis Richardson with sister Zoe and her children.Lewis Richardson with sister Zoe and her children. (Image: FAMILY)

Police attended and he was confirmed to have died at 12.07pm that day.

Senior Coroner for Teesside Clare Bailey said there was “no evidence” he had planned to take his own life.

The court was told Lewis was diagnosed with ADHD as a child, had psychosis, and had a history of substance abuse, including cannabis and cocaine.

In the six months before his death, he had been admitted to hospital twice, for two periods of about two months each.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Lewis with mum Julie Collins.Lewis with mum Julie Collins. (Image: FAMILY)

Asked by the coroner whether they thought Lewis had shown signs he planned on ending his own life Lewis’s sister Zoe Richardson and mum Julie Collins both replied, “No”.

“There was nothing that made me think that he wanted to take his own life”, Zoe said, when asked about when she last saw him on December 23.

Lewis went to his mum’s house for Christmas, and a care coordinator Kemi Martins told the inquest the fact he had plans would place him at a “quite low” risk of suicide. Miss Martins visited him the day after he moved into his flat on December 20, and said he “was quite happy”.

Lewis only spent three nights at his new flat before he was found dead, the court heard.

Darlington and Stockton Times: An inquest was held at Teesside Coroners' Court on Tuesday (June 4).An inquest was held at Teesside Coroners' Court on Tuesday (June 4). (Image: Chris Booth)

Neighbours reported hearing an argument between Lewis and some “foreign men” on the evening of Christmas Day, believed to have been over a £100 drug debt, the court was told.

But police said his death was not suspicious and they did not believe there to have been any third party involvement.

His sister Zoe said they still had many “unanswered questions” about how her brother had died and insisted he would not have completed suicide.

Recording a narrative conclusion Coroner Bailey said: “On December 26, 2021 at flat in Redcar Lewis was found dead while under the influence of alcohol and cocaine. His intention in doing so is not known.”

She added: “I have heard no evidence today that anybody thought Lewis was at risk of killing himself. Lewis had both alcohol and cocaine in his system – it is possible that that impacted on his ability to make decisions.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Lewis with sister Jade.Lewis with sister Jade. (Image: FAMILY)

“Lewis was loved and supported by his family – his family did their best to care for and support him

Paying tribute to Lewis in a statement read to the court his sister Jade Richardson said: “I am so lucky to have had an amazing brother – he was one of a kind.

“Lewis was so kind, caring and had a heart of gold. I am proud to call him my brother.

“We all miss him so much and he took a piece of our hearts when he left us.”

Mam Julie Collins added: “He was the most kind, loving person.

“He struggled in and out of Roseberry Park Hospital trying so hard to get better but unfortunately it didn’t work.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Lewis (R) and sister Lyndsey (centre).Lewis (R) and sister Lyndsey (centre). (Image: FAMILY)

Speaking after the inquest Julie and Lewis’s sister Zoe Richardson said they wanted the narrative verdict but felt Lewis had been failed by TEWV.

Julie said: “I am still very angry. They (TEWV) use Lewis as an example as to how they are learning but there’s been people die since.”

“I do believe he was failed by the trust,” Zoe added.

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“I am glad we got the narrative conclusion but it is still not complete in our minds because is doesn’t mention that he was under the care of the trust.”

A post-mortem examination carried out at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough three days after his death recorded his cause of death as pressure on the neck.

Toxicology results found prescription drugs, cocaine and alcohol – at about twice the legal drink drive limit – in his system.

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