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Inquest into Ensink stabbing is told of prosecution evidence ‘muddle’

Decision to drop charges against student who went on to kill ‘was wrong’

13 July, 2018 — By Samantha Booth

Jeroen Ensink (left), died in street stabbing. Femi Nandap (right), released from court on bail

A PROSECUTOR be­came “muddled” over issues which led to charges being dropped against a man who went on to kill a top biologist, a coroner’s inquest has been told.

Femi Nandap, then 23, had been arrested for assaulting an officer after he climbed into a flat in Belsize Park and for possession of a knife, seven months before he fatally stabbed 41-year-old Jeroen Ensink, in Hilldrop Crescent, Tufnell Park, in December 2015.

At a court hearing in October 2015, Nandap had been bailed to appear for trial in early January, but the charges were “incorrectly” dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service just six days before the attack.

Nandap, a student suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, is serving an indefinite hospital order for manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Dr Ensink’s widow, Nadja Ensink-Teich, wants the inquest at St Pancras Coroner’s Court to answer her questions over how Nandap was allowed to be at liberty, apparently so mentally unwell, when he stabbed her husband in a random attack.

The inquest was told that a district judge granted Nandap conditional bail at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on October 12, 2015.

Gerallt Evans, deputy chief crown prosecutor, said this was because Nandap did not have previous convictions and had supplied sufficient evidence about his medical treatment as the reason why he could not attend a previous court hearing in August.

Mr Evans said the lawyer in court had not been sent Nandap’s police file until later in the day. She was then unable to access it because of a technology issue and instead had to rely on the defence’s paperwork, which did not include all of the information.

Jurors were told that she had applied for Nandap to be remanded in custody. Mr Evans said: “My view is if she knew all the factors, that she should not have applied for him to be remanded in custody.”

The inquest has previously heard how PC Adam Wellings, the officer who said he was assaulted at Primrose Gardens in May 2015, was “confused” about the reason for dropping charges.

Mr Evans told the inquest on Wednesday that prosecutor Julie Okoh concluded there was not a realistic chance of prosecution. He said: “I can say that decision was wrong when I looked afterwards.”

Mr Evans said he thought she became “muddled” over evidential issues. Part of this was her concern that only one witness gave a statement saying she saw Nandap with a knife.

Mr Evans said: “That doesn’t mean there was not a realistic chance of prosecution as there was some other evidence to support that. In particular, that police had recovered a knife inside the window ledge.” He added: “That’s something that could’ve been more clear in the evidence. We did not know it was the same window that Nandap had climbed through.”

Nandap’s sister Wupya previously told the inquest she had warned a police officer on the night of his arrest in May about his mental health problems. The day after, he was bailed and traveled back to Nigeria for mental health treatment.

Ms Nandap said she had some concerns about her brother’s mental wellbeing since the beginning of 2015, when he had become “withdrawn” and had became obsessed with conspiracy theories including on giants, aliens and the Bible.

She said he was smoking cannabis which “exacerbated” his condition.

The two arresting police officers did not submit “Merlin” reports – which would have flagged up conerns about Nandap’s mental heath. Both said in “hindsight” they would have.

The inquest continues.

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