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Jeroen Ensink inquest: Police officer ‘disappointed’ previous knife charge against killer was dropped

His wife, Nadja, also asks: “How can it be that Mr Nandap, apparently so mentally unwell, armed with a knife and be at liberty on the day he killed my husband?”

02 July, 2018 — By Samantha Booth

Jeroen Ensink with his wife Nadja 

A POLICE officer was “a bit disappointed and confused” about why previous charges were dropped against a man who stabbed top biologist Jeroen Ensink to death, an inquest heard.

PC Adam Wellings and a colleague also said they did not make a mental health report following the the arrest of Femi Nandap for possession of an offensive weapon and assaulting a police officer in May 2015.

These charges were withdrawn by the Crown Prosecution Service in December 2015, just days before Nandap, a then 23-year-old who suffered with paranoid schizophrenia, violently stabbed Mr Ensink, a popular lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Mr Ensink, 41, was attacked while posting cards announcing the birth of his first child just yards away from his home in Hilldrop Crescent, in Tufnell Park, which he shared with his wife Nadja Ensink-Teich. 

Nandap was sentenced to indefinite order at Broadmoor hospital in October 2016 after pleading guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The CPS later wrote a letter to PC Wellings in December 2016 apologising for the “incorrect” decision to take no further action.

Witness statements read out at St Pancras Coroners Court today said Mr Nandap was seen with a knife in Belsize Park on May 22, 2015 and had climbed into a flat window.

When he attended the scene with his colleague, PC Wellings said Nandap punched him in the head, bit his finger and tried to bite his nose while apprehending him in the flat on Primrose Gardens.

PC Wellings told jurors: “I think I got a letter saying that the decision was made by the CPS to go with no further action and apparently that was because there was not enough evidence to prove he had a knife in the street, which I believe we had statements to say he had been seen with it.”

He added: “I was a bit disappointed and confused as to why he wasn’t charged. It was not a nice experience but unfortunately it’s not uncommon for assaults like that to not get people prosecuted all the time.”

The court heard how Femi Nandap, pictured right, stabbed Mr Ensink repeatedly 

A letter in December 2016 from the deputy chief crown prosecutor, included an apology for the “incorrect” decision to not prosecute Nandap after a review by senior CPS management.

Rob Harland, representing the CPS, asked if letters about a potential discontinuation of the case sent to his colleagues had been forwarded. PC Wellings said he had not seen them.

An off-duty special police constable was first on the scene of the stabbing on December 29, 2015.

SC Maria Hagerty said Nandap first said to her “leave him, he’s dead anyway” then “he’s dead now, he’s dead”. 

At the earlier incident in May, PC Wellings heard him muttering “they are coming to get me, they will kill me”.

PC Wellings admitted he did not submit a Merlin report which logs details about vulnerable people and mental health concerns. It is then distributed to authorities such as councils and hospitals.

Asked by senior coroner Mary Hassell if he thought he should have submitted a report, PC Wellings said: “In hindsight yes, unfortunately.”

He had spoken to his colleague who had called Nandap’s sister. The court heard she expressed concerns for her brother’s mental health and PC Wellings said he believed, but could not remember, if he mentioned it to the custody sergeant.

He said he had been through a “violent” episode, which bruised his thumb and hurt his head, and submitted Merlins more often now.

PC Stephen McDonagh, another arresting officer, also did not complete a Merlin report. He said: “With hindsight I probably should’ve created a Merlin.”

He added he had concerns about Nandap’s mental health but added: “I wouldn’t describe him as any more troubled as some prisoners.”

Asked by Ms Hassell if he would change anything else that day, he said: “It was a really difficult situation we were in and I acted the best of my abilities at the time. I think we showed quite a lot of bravery. It wasn’t easy to deal with, it was difficult.”

While on conditional bail, Nandap returned to his family in Nigeria where it was said he received mental health treatment before returning to the UK in October 2015, jurors were told.

The court heard how he believed he was a “Messiah” and thought he could communicate telepathically.

He had previously studied marketing in Boston where he had begun smoking cannabis frequently. His sister said his views about the world “started to change”.

Ms Ensink-Teich widow is hoping for answers about the decisions that took place before her husband’s death.

She has crowdfunded her legal fees after not being able to claim legal aid. The CPS and Metropolitan Police are both represented in court. 

In a statement read out by Ms Hassell to the court, Ms Ensink-Teich said: “How can it be that Mr Nandap, apparently so mentally unwell, armed with a knife and be at liberty on the day he killed my husband?” 

The inquest, expected to last three weeks, continues.

For more on Mr Ensink’s inquest follow our website on Facebook and Twitter for updates or pick up a copy of the Islington Tribune out in stands on Friday. 

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