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Content Note for Suicide, nature of suicide, death.
Matty Sheldrick was a beloved family member; a creative with a kind and gentle soul and a passion for social justice. In 2021 they moved to Brighton and Hove, in a quest to find comfort and community amongst a thriving music and arts scene.
On the night of 4 th November 2022, Matty hung themself just steps from the entrance of Royal Sussex County Hospital A&E department. Matty died from their injuries a few weeks later, aged 29, in the very place they had gone to seek safety.
Hours before Matty hung themself, medical professionals had decided not to detain Matty for treatment under the Mental Health Act – despite having had contact with Matty through months of turmoil, which included a suicide attempt in the hospital toilets earlier that day.
An inquest into Matty’s death later this year will explore what happened to them.
When someone dies by suspected suicide, a Coroner holds an inquest to establish how, where and when the person died. In cases where a public body had obligations relevant to the person’s death, the inquest may become an “Article 2” inquest, which will look more widely at the circumstances of the person’s death.
The Clare Project wants an “Article 2” inquest to be held so that the circumstances of Matty’s death are properly explored and understood, and their loved ones get answers.
The Clare Project also hopes that the Coroner will issue a “report to prevent future deaths”, to try to prevent other people from being failed in the ways Matty was.
The Clare Project is Sussex’s community-led support charity for trans, non-binary and intersex adults. Matty was a regular attendee and commissioned designer for the charity. Alongside Matty’s family and friends, The Clare Project’s team made relentless efforts to get Matty the help they needed.
The Clare Project has been granted “interested person” status in the inquest. This means they will be able to see the documents and witness statements that the Coroner will consider, as well as putting forward its own evidence and questioning witnesses.
The Clare Project have instructed Good Law Practice, an independent law firm supported by Good Law Project. The Practice has offered to act on rates equivalent to “legal aid” rates, which constitute a discount of approximately 75% on its full rates for a senior lawyer. They have also instructed Sophie Walker, a barrister at One Pump Court, who has generously agreed to act pro bono.
Good Law Project is also providing support by running this crowdfunder.
Ultimately, The Clare Project wouldn’t be able to fight Matty’s corner without this wealth of experience and support.
Any surplus funds raised will be used by The Clare Project to support its other charitable work.
If you are struggling, please consider contacting one of the following organisations: