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Craig Bennett received treatment at the Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital

By Sittingbourne reporter

The father of a man who died battling mental health problems has told an inquest how his son was turned away from treatment.

Former Sittingbourne resident Craig Bennett was found dead in the grounds of The Pilsdon at Malling Community support centre where he had lived on and off since January.

The 35-year-old died after he drank close to a bottle of vodka and cut his left arm.

His mental conditions included severe anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and split personality disorder.

The coroner ruled Craig Bennett took his own life

The coroner ruled Craig Bennett took his own life

Speaking at the inquest at the Archbishop’s Palace, Maidstone, his father, Colin Bennett, said his son received regular treatment from the Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital for seven years until July 2012.

He claimed Craig was told that there was nothing wrong with him and added: “When he left that’s when all the problems started because he couldn’t get treatment.”

Assistant coroner Gail Elliman did not raise any concerns about the treatment Mr Bennett received.

She heard that after he became a resident at The Pilsdon, which is an independent Christian care centre in West Malling, he received support from the NHS Maidstone Community Mental Health Service (CMHS).

William Parsons, a registered social worker with the service, became concerned for his condition at the end of March.

An action plan was devised and an appointment to see a consultant psychiatrist arranged. However, Mr Bennett died two days before the appointment.

The inquest was heard at the Archbishop’s Palace in Maidstone

The inquest was heard at the Archbishop’s Palace in Maidstone

A spokesman from the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust, which runs the mental health services, said: “The trust is not in a position to comment on individual cases.

“The team has already met with Mr Bennett’s family to discuss the care he received and offer its condolences and support.”

Mrs Elliman concluded that Mr Bennett took his own life. After the inquest the family said in a statement: “He had a really funny sense of humour.

“People at Pilsdon said he was the life and soul of the group when they went on day trips. “He loved music and knew every fact about every film. He loved a bit of art too.

“He was very intelligent and had lots of ability but his anxiety meant he couldn’t do the things he wanted to do.”

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