A psychotherapist did not refer a woman for an assessment after she was arrested for throwing furniture out of a seventh-storey flat as she assumed somebody else had done it, a court has heard.

Alexandra Garriock told a jury she had assured the mother of 24-year-old patient Amarnih Lewis-Daniel that the mental health service was responding to her daughter’s apparently deteriorating condition.

But she had based that claim on “an assumption”, she admitted, rather than proactively making her own referral.

“In hindsight, I wish I had made a referral,” she told East London Coroner's Court yesterday (November 21). “I certainly would now.”

Amarnih, a 24-year-old transgender woman with multiple mental health diagnoses, was found dead in the car park outside her home in Chadwell Heath on March 17, 2021.

Emergency services found her after being called to a fire inside her flat at Highview House, off of Whalebone Lane.

A jury has been empanelled in Walthamstow to determine whether she deliberately brought about her own death and whether the actions or inactions of several public services may have contributed.

Mrs Garriock worked as the Barking and Dagenham assessor for the Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment Team, run by mental health service North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT).

She was questioned on Tuesday about why she had omitted any mention of her phone call with Amarnih’s mother from her witness statement.

“I don’t know,” she said. “I can’t account for that.”

“It’s an important conversation, isn’t it, particularly for the purposes of this inquest?” asked coroner Nadia Persaud.

“Yes, you’re absolutely correct,” Mrs Garriock said. “I don’t know. It’s an omission on my part.”

Romford Recorder: Amarnih's death is being examined in a two-week jury inquest at East London Coroners' Court in Queens Road, WalthamstowAmarnih's death is being examined in a two-week jury inquest at East London Coroners' Court in Queens Road, Walthamstow (Image: Google Streetview)

The court heard Mrs Garriock had been in touch with Angela Lewis-Campbell because her daughter Amarnih was due to undergo an autism assessment, for which Mrs Lewis-Campbell would also be interviewed.

Mrs Lewis-Campbell spoke to Mrs Garriock by phone on February 1, 2021 – three days after Amarnih was arrested by police for criminal damage - and told her that Amarnih had “smashed windows” in her flat and then started throwing out possessions.

She expressed concerns for Amarnih’s welfare and whether she was taking her prescribed medication, the court was told.

Records by Mrs Garriock said Amarnih’s mother “was reassured that our agencies were involved to support her daughter”.

“Did you carry out an assessment of risk at that time?” asked Mrs Persaud.

“No, I didn’t,” Mrs Garriock replied. “I made the assumption at the time that the Liaison and Diversion Team would be making a referral. That’s why I reassured the mother.”

The Liaison and Diversion – or L&D – is the team that assesses patients in custody.

The inquest had already heard from Monsuru Ajadi, the L&D worker who saw Amarnih in custody after her arrest.

He testified that he did not make a referral but in hindsight he should have done.

Romford Recorder: Amarnih Lewis-Daniel was found dead in the car park outside Highview House, Whalebone Lane, Chadwell Heath, where she lived in a seventh-storey, one-bedroom flatAmarnih Lewis-Daniel was found dead in the car park outside Highview House, Whalebone Lane, Chadwell Heath, where she lived in a seventh-storey, one-bedroom flat (Image: Google Streetview)

“I made an assumption that they would be referring,” said Mrs Garriock.

Mrs Persaud pointed out that Mrs Garriock had had access to the L&D report, showing the team had not in fact made a referral.

“I realise now, in hindsight, that I didn’t read it thoroughly,” Mrs Garriock testified.

“I saw that Amarnih was being seen by them and I didn’t, at the time, with the pressure of work, I didn’t thoroughly look through it.”

Looking back, she said, she should have made her own referral, as both teams referring the same patient “would have been better than neither team making a referral”.

But, she added: “I believe it should have been by the L&D team.”

“But it also should have been by you, shouldn’t it?” asked Mrs Persaud.

“In hindsight, now, and following the discussions that we have had,” said Mrs Garriock. “But I didn’t automatically assume that was my role.”

The inquest heard Amarnih had been on the waiting list for an autism assessment since August 2019.

She had filled out several “pre-screening questionnaires”, which all came back indicating she should be assessed for autism.

Her answers, among other things, “indicated that Amarnih had difficulties understanding not only her own emotions but also the emotions of others,” said Mrs Garriock.

But in the final weeks of her life, when Amarnih finally moved towards the top of the list, the court heard she became difficult to reach, failing to respond to phone calls, text messages and emails.

Mrs Garriock finally managed to speak to Amarnih for the first time on March 17, 2021.

Her body was found hours later.

The inquest continues.