Suspended NHS worker kills himself just a day after police arrest him at North Staffordshire home


NHS worker Timothy Kuma killed himself – just a day after being arrested by police.

The 56-year-old took his own life following the arrest and just 48-hours after he was suspended from Harplands Hospital, in Hartshill.

Staffordshire Police later referred themselves to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) following their previous contact with Mr Kuma.

Now an inquest has ruled that the healthcare support worker committed suicide.

In a statement to the inquest, Harplands Hospital clinical director Carol Sylvester said: “An allegation had been reported to the local authority and the police.

“On June 30, Mr Kuma was due to work a bank shift. He was intercepted by the site manager and informed in writing of a decision to suspend him.”

Liverpool Road, Newcastle

The dad-of-one was found on the garage floor at the family’s home on Liverpool Road, Newcastle, on July 2.

In a statement, his wife said: “On Sunday, June 30 he had been due to start work at 7.30pm. At about 8.15pm Timothy called me and said there was bad news and he had been suspended from work.

“On Monday, July 1 I went to work at 8.40am and at about 5.52pm I was informed that Timothy had gone with the police. I came straight home and Timothy came home at 11.30pm.

“I was speaking to him and he was really down due to what was going on and I was scared and worried about how he was going to deal with the situation.”

The couple later went to bed. Mr Kuma told his wife: “I’m going, if something happens to me I love you both.”

Mrs Kuma found her husband lying on the garage floor. He was taken to the Royal Stoke University Hospital and pronounced dead at 9.26am on July 2.

It transpired that Mr Kuma had gone to Staffordshire Police’s Northern Area Custody Facility before returning home.

A Staffordshire Police statement said: “On July 1, Mr Kuma was arrested at his house. He was interviewed and released under investigation pending further inquiries.

“At 6am on July 2 Mr Kuma attended the custody facility unannounced and handed over a mobile phone stating he believed it was required as part of the investigation.

“Shortly after 8am police assistance was requested at Mr Kuma’s home address as he had threatened to harm himself. The incident was referred to the IOPC.”

North Staffordshire assistant coroner Sarah Murphy did not find any police failures.

She said: “I completely accept the evidence from his wife that she had no idea that he would act on his comments of threatening suicide. There is no way that she could have anticipated this was what he was going to do.”

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