Cops face investigation over contact with Jeroen Ensink killer
Eight officers believed to be under investigation over previous dealings with Femi Nandap, a paranoid schizophrenic
11 August, 2017 — By Koos Couvée
EIGHT police officers are believed to be under investigation over their conduct in the case of a psychotic man who was known to the Met when he stabbed top biologist Jeroen Ensink to death, the Tribune can reveal.
Dr Ensink, 41, was subjected to a brutal, unprovoked knife assault outside his Tufnell Park home by Femi Nandap, a student suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, in December 2015.
The university lecturer and researcher had gone out to post cards
informing friends and family of the birth of his daughter Fleur.
Coroner Mary Hassell, who presides over the upcoming inquest into Dr Ensink’s death, has called a special hearing today (Friday) to question the Met over its failure to provide her office with key evidence, including witness statements from police in contact with Nandap in the months leading up to the killing.
Dr Ensink’s widow Nadja Ensink-Teich told the Tribune this week that the Met missed the coroner’s deadline for submissions, citing the internal investigation. It threatens to derail the inquest, which has been scheduled for November.
“I think it’s appalling that I have to wait a year-and-a-half. It should have been the first step, to investigate how this could’ve happened,” Ms Ensink-Teich, 38, said after learning of the police probe.
“Only the coroner is [investigating] it. The police are finally waking up. They have failed again, again and again.”
She added: “Because of the disciplinary action they could not provide witness statements. Surely this would have to go hand in hand [with the inquest]? It just takes away your trust. It’s appalling we’re being treated this way.”
Nadja Ensink-Teich, left, has launched a campaign for “justice” for her husband, right
It emerged last year that Nandap, 24, had been charged with assault of a police officer and knife possession during a similar psychotic episode months earlier. But charges against him were dropped six days before he killed Dr Ensink after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided there was insufficient evidence.
Ms Ensink-Teich, who believes police had sufficient information to have Nandap detained under the Mental Health Act, last year called for an investigation into how the 24-year-old was at liberty and not receiving any treatment when he killed her husband in a state of deep psychosis.
The Met’s failure to provide evidence to the inquest comes just weeks after Ms Ensink-Teich received a visit to her home in The Netherlands from Commander for North London, Dave Musker, and Jamie Piscopo, the lead detective in her husband’s murder case. The journey was made at considerable expense to the taxpayer.
But she said she was given very little new information, was not told the Met would fail to provide documents, and that the internal probe was only briefly mentioned. Ms Ensink-Teich said her legal team learned only from Ms Hassell’s office that eight officers had been placed under investigation.
“Part of me thinks they just came over here as a PR exercise so we
wouldn’t say anything negative about the police. But everything they do is completely contradictory to what they say,” she added.
“The inquest is crucial to find out what happened. They say they’re working with me, but then my lawyers have to chase for information – that’s not on. All we hear is from the coroner.”
Last year, it emerged that while on bail, Nandap had been allowed to travel to his native Nigeria, where he had a period in hospital and was treated for irrational talk and hallucinations.
Police were later provided with medical records but, according to Ms Ensink-Teich, these were not passed on to the CPS. Nandap had responded well to anti-psychotic medication but had stopped taking it when he returned to Britain in October 2015. Despite this, he was granted bail.
The inquest will explore the interactions of police, prosecutors and mental health professionals with the killer in the months leading up to her husband’s death.
Today’s hearing will increase legal costs for Ms Ensink-Teich, who has been denied legal aid and is raising funds online.
Furthermore, the Met’s failure to disclose the documents means Ms Hassell has not yet been able to decide whether to hold the inquest with a jury or not. An inquest must be held with a jury if the coroner believes the death may have resulted from an act or omission by a police officer.
Scotland Yard said that after Ms Hassell indicated the inquest would include reviewing police contact with Nandap prior to Dr Ensink’s death, it referred the matter to the police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
The IPCC subsequently advised it should be investigated by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards. Scotland Yard refused to say how many officers were under investigation but denied eight had been served with misconduct notices.
A Met spokeswoman said: “That investigation is ongoing. No officer is suspended or on restricted duties at this stage. The MPS will update the coroner on progression at the pre-inquest hearing.
“The MPS will continue to fully support and cooperate with the coronial process. We understand Mrs Ensink-Teich’s desire for answers and want to provide them for her and her family.”
Dr Ensink was a popular researcher and senior lecturer in public health engineering at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He devoted his professional life to improving access to water and sanitation in developing countries.
Nandap told detectives after the killing that a voice told him he was “the black Messiah” and had to kill a man to save his family from danger. He was given an indefinite hospital order last October after pleading guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of suffering a mental abnormality.
The CPS, which reviewed the decision to drop charges against Nandap and concluded that it was wrong, has met the coroner’s deadline for submissions.
It has said that, because Nandap had been granted bail in October 2015, even if the charges had not been dropped he would not have been prevented by his bail conditions from being where he killed Dr Ensink.
Ms Ensink-Teich has 11 days left to raise the final £7,000 of her
fundraising target of £40,000 to cover her legal fees. People can make a donation on her Crowdjustice page.