Amin Abdullah: Man who set himself on fire outside Kensington Palace was nurse sacked from London hospital

The 41-year-old had been dismissed from Charing Cross Hospital days before Christmas

Lizzie Dearden
Wednesday 17 February 2016 13:22
Mr Abdullah was sacked from Charing Cross Hospital in December
Mr Abdullah was sacked from Charing Cross Hospital in December

The man who burned himself to death outside Kensington Palace was an award-winning nurse who had recently been dismissed by a London hospital.

Amin Abdullah, 41, was sacked from Charing Cross Hospital days before Christmas following a misconduct case over a letter and petition he wrote in support of a colleague.

His partner, Terry Skitmore, told the Evening Standard he started suffering from severe depression and was being treated at the St Charles Hospital in Ladbroke Grove, West London, when he disappeared on 8 February.

Police were alerted when Mr Abdullah failed to return and visited his home in Notting Hill and two other properties in hours of searches.

Mr Abdullah was found on fire near Kensington Palace, London

Just hours later, at 3am, officers found him on fire outside Kensington Palace, having apparently doused himself with petrol and set himself alight.

Firefighters, paramedics and police battled to save Mr Abdullah but he died of his injuries at the scene, metres from the home shared by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said no one else was believed to be involved and the death was not being treated as suspicious.

Mr Abdullah grew up in an orphanage in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and completed a nursing degree at Buckinghamshire New University, while working at London hospitals.

He was handed the Hannah Evans Award for Excellence in clinical knowledge and practice upon his graduation in 2014, the Nursing Standard reported, saying he was about to enter his post at Charing Cross Hospital.

Mr Abdullah left the St Charles Hospital saying he was going to collect a change of clothes but never returned

“I just do my best at all times,” Mr Abdullah said at the time. “Now that the news has sunk in, I am delighted and proud.”

The Independent understands that the nurse wrote a letter and started a petition in defence of a colleague who had been in the subject of a patient complaint.

But the letter, circulated in September and signed by more than a dozen people, was seen as “highly defamatory” by managers and sparked disciplinary procedures that led to Mr Abdullah’s dismissal on 21 December.

His partner of 12 years, Mr Skitmore, told the Evening Standard the nurse lived for his job and had only wanted to support his colleague.

A spokesperson for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs Charing Cross Hospital, said: “We are saddened to hear of Mr Abdullah’s death and would like to offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.

“The Trust will engage fully with any investigations into Mr Abdullah’s death.”

The Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, which operates St Charles Hospital, said it would work with other agencies to establish what happened.

An investigation by Westminster Coroner’s Court continues and Scotland Yard’s Directorate of Professional Standards has been informed.

For support or information on mental health, call the Samaritans for free on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org or visit the charity's website here.