AN INQUEST has been opened into the death of a man from Andover who died at a mental health hospital.

A nurse at Parklands Hospital in Basingstoke called for assistance after Richard Austin Laversuch, of Beales Close, Andover, was in cardiac arrest following an alleged attack.

Police were called to the hospital shortly after 4am and continued CPR until paramedics arrived. The 63-year-old was later declared dead at the scene.

An inquest has now been opened into his death by assistant coroner Samantha Marsh at Winchester Coroner’s Court.

Mrs Marsh said that a post mortem had been carried out by consultant forensic pathologist Dr Russell Delaney who gave a preliminary cause of death of manual strangulation pending results of laboratory investigations.

The hearing was adjourned and a full inquest has been scheduled to take place on May 6, next year.

Following Mr Laversuch’s death an 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder. He was also arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a second patient, also in his 60s, was assaulted in the incident – he was taken to Basingstoke hospital but was discharged shortly afterwards.

A spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary said that they are working with "health trust partners to establish the full circumstances".

They added: "We were called at 4.07am on November 27 following reports of a serious assault at Parklands Hospital.

"A man in his 60s was subsequently pronounced dead by paramedics on scene.

"His next of kin are aware and are being supported by specialist officers.

"A second man, also aged in his 60s, was assaulted and taken to Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital as a precaution, but was discharged shortly afterwards.

"As part of enquiries, an 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder and is currently detained under the Mental Health Act.

"Police are working with health trust partners to establish the full circumstances."

Parklands Hospital, based on the same site as Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, is run by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and has four adult mental health wards and community hubs.

A spokesperson for Southern Health said: "Our thoughts are with those affected and we are supporting patients and staff at the hospital. We are fully cooperating with the police investigation.”