A FORMER support worker has admitted to a jury lying to police about checks carried out at a Southern Health facility in the minutes surrounding the death of a patient.

Julia Scott-Field, who was working as a healthcare support worker at the trust's Woodhaven facility in Calmore in January 2017, told an inquest that she hadn't carried out the 8am check on Luke Keen, despite telling colleagues and police she had.

Around 10 minutes later Ms Scott-Field's colleague Lee Cumberland found Mr Keen unconscious in his bathroom, having asphyxiated himself.

Winchester Coroner's Court heard how Mr Keen, formerly of Clausen Way, Pennington, was admitted to Woodhaven in December 2016 after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

The jury heard that Mr Keen, 31, believed he had contracted HIV, and subsequently infected his family. Numerous test results – some of which were carried out privately at a cost of £300 – came back negative, but Mr Keen felt he was the victim of a NHS-wide conspiracy.

The inquest also heard that he believed the only way his family would get treated would be if he took his own life.

Following an incident where he had put a bag strap around his neck, Mr Keen, described by his family as an avid Saints fan and "gym enthusiast", was put on increased observations, meaning staff needed to check every 15 minutes.

However, Winchester Coroner's Court heard that following an initial police statement in January last year, Ms Scott-Field made a second statement in September.

Ms Scott-Field, who was in tears while she gave evidence, said: "I stated that I checked the 8am observations, but I didn't. I was scared. I was aware that he was on 15 minutes observations and with that comes a certain level of risk.

"I was scared at what I'd find. I hoped I would find him on the ward a few minutes later. I think I panicked, I don't think I thought logically."

Home Office pathologist Dr Basil Purdue told the inquest that irrecoverable damage would have been caused to Mr Keen's brain within a four to seven minute window.

Mr Keen was found on January 10 2017, but was declared dead at Southampton General Hospital the following afternoon.

The inquest continues.