Widow of knife attack victim: Help me get justice for Jeroen
Crowdfunding plea for cash to pay for lawyer at inquest into husband’s street killing
28 April, 2017 — By Koos Couvée
Nadja Ensink-Teich with Julian Hendy of charity 100 Families after Tuesday’s hearing into the death of her husband
THE widow of a Dutch scientist stabbed to death on his doorstep by a psychotic man has issued a heartfelt plea for people to help pay for a lawyer after she was denied legal aid for the inquest into her husband’s death.
Nadja Ensink-Teich, wife of the late Dr Jeroen Ensink, who died in a random attack outside his Tufnell Park home, has been denied state funding for legal representation at the hearing.
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.
The Legal Aid Agency has left her with no choice but to crowdfund after she was denied help on the basis that the authority does not agree with coroner Mary Hassell that the case is an Article 2 inquest. Article 2 relates to the right to life under the European Convention on Human Rights. For an Article 2 inquest to be held, a coroner must agree that the death was potentially caused by failures sufficiently serious to breach the obligation of the state to protect life.
Speaking outside St Pancras Coroner’s Court following a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, Ms Ensink-Teich said: “The CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] and the police are legally represented with lawyers paid for by the taxpayer. It’s a very complex case and I don’t know how they expect me to legally represent myself when I’m sitting next to a QC [acting for the Met]. It’s unfair.”
Dr Ensink, 41, was killed after he went out to postcards to tell friends and family of the birth of his daughter, Fleur, 11 days earlier.
Dr Jeroen Ensink (left) was stabbed to death by Femi Nandap
His widow wants to know how Femi Nandap, 23, was at liberty when he stabbed Dr Ensink, after it emerged that charges against him alleging assault on a police officer and knife possession were dropped six days before the killing.
She believes he should have been in jail or in a mental health unit after the incident seven months earlier, which occurred when Nandap was suffering a similar psychotic episode. She has accused the authorities of not sharing vital information about the Nigerian student’s mental state.
Ms Ensink-Teich added: “I want justice for Jeroen and answers for Fleur. I know I’m doing the right thing and I’m going to raise the funds to hold the people that are responsible for what happened to account.
“We have very little information and don’t have the full facts, but it’s clear that the police and CPS, and possibly other agencies, have questions to answer.”
Charges against Nandap were dropped after the CPS decided there was insufficient evidence. Questions remain around how, while out on bail, he was allowed to travel to his native Nigeria, where he had a spell 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 to the CPS. It was later revealed that 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 Tufnell Park couple
Nandap was sentenced to an indefinite hospital order in Broadmoor Hospital last October for killing the Dutch biologist.
Ms Ensink-Teich added: “I don’t wish this to happen to anyone else. Mental health has to be taken seriously and it must not be brushed under the carpet.
“I don’t want to become bitter or obsessed about it, but when Fleur asks I want to show that I’ve done everything I could possibly have done.
“She will never know her father. She will hear lots of stories. But I owe it to her, to Jeroen and to our family. He would do exactly the same.”
The Ministry of Justice said it is only able to fund cases that meet the relevant criteria under Legal Aid Agency regulations.
The inquest into Dr Ensink’s death will be held in November. Donations to Ms Ensink-Teich’s fund can be made here.