Man killed on A14 was picked up by police hours earlier


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David Dixon/Geograph

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Alexander Dowds died on the A14 at Nacton, near Ipswich

A man who died on a busy A-road had been picked up by police on the same road hours earlier, an inquest heard.

Alexander Dowds, 32, was hit by a car on the A14 in Ipswich on 15 March 2017.

Police had earlier seen him walking along the footpath of the A14 Orwell Bridge. He denied planning to harm himself and agreed to be taken home.

Concerns over Mr Dowds were raised with mental health services that day, but police said he was “calm and compliant” and they had no reason to detain him.

His mother and a friend had both earlier contacted the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust but police were not informed of the contact.

Mr Dowds had missed a morning appointment and had not been taking his medication, the inquest in Ipswich heard.

‘No suicide comments’

PC Adam Fitzgibbons said Mr Dowds showed no signs of being “in crisis” when he spoke to him on the dual carriageway bridge just before 16:00 GMT.

“He was completely calm, compliant and willing to talk to me. He made no comment about suicide or self-harm,” he said.

When Mr Dowds accepted a lift back home to Ipswich, the officer contacted the police control room and found out about his history with mental health services.

He denied any mental health issues in conversation with officers.

Louissa Friend, a mental health nurse in the police control room, agreed there were insufficient grounds to detain Mr Dowds for his own safety.

She had not been aware of the concerns raised by Mr Dowds’ friends and family, but said her guidance would have been the same if she had.

Mr Dowds died after being hit by a car at about 20:10 near junction 57 of the A14 at Nacton.

The inquest continues.

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