Olaseni Lewis: Steve and parents confront Government Minister
Throughout June, I worked with the family of Olaseni Lewis to secure a meeting with the Mental Health Minister Norman Lamb MP to demand justice for their son, who died following severe police restraint just hours after being admitted as a voluntary patient as the Royal Bethlem Hospital.
Nearly three years later the family are still waiting for a full public inquest which has been repeatedly delayed following errors, chaos and obstruction by the Metropolitan Police, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Minister Norman Lamb agreed to meet the parents after I raised their son’s case during a House of Commons debate on mental health services on 16th May. The meeting took place in Mr Lamb’s offices in Parliament on Monday 17 June. On Wednesday 19th June, less than 48hrs after the meeting with the Lewis family and Reed, Minister Lamb let it be known that it was his intention to ban face-down restraint of mental health patients.
I was grateful the Minister agreed to listen to the family and hear how painful it’s been for them waiting nearly three years to find out exactly how and why their son died. The family deserve to know what happened, and I strongly believe that the community needs to know that lessons have been learnt.
A full copy of my speech in the House of Commons 16th May 2013 can be found here: