19 Feb 2020

Samuel Fischer racked up debt while under care - Coroner's inquest

12:54 pm on 19 February 2020

An inquest into the suspected suicide of a mental health unit patient has heard he was able to rack up $20,000 of debt while under the care of the staff.

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Wellington Regional Hospital. Photo: RNZ / DOM THOMAS

Samuel Fischer was a patient at Wellington Hospital from the end of January last year, until he died in a suspected suicide in the middle of April.

Coroner Peter Ryan heard this morning that Fischer accrued a significant amount of debt, which had a big effect on his mental well-being.

Hearing from a computer and technology staff member, Judge Ryan was told Fischer was given access to his smartphone and laptop while in hospital.

The coroner suggested he might not have been able to accrue the debt if this access had been restricted.