Man found dead on Bibby Stockholm 'lay undiscovered for 12 hours', roommate says

Leonard Farruku died at the age of 27 (PA)
Leonard Farruku died at the age of 27 (PA)

A man who died in a suspected suicide on the Bibby Stockholm barge lay undiscovered in a shower room for 12 hours, his roommate has said.

Yusuf Deen Kargbo, 20, has described the horrific moment his roommate Leonard Farruku, 27, was found dead on the barge in Dorset that houses asylum seekers last December.

Mr Kargbo, 20, said he shared a room with Mr Farruku, an Albanian asylum seeker, for a week and a half.

He told the Guardian he saw Mr Farruku during their evening meal in the dining room the day before his death.

When Mr Kargbo returned to their bedroom, the bathroom door was locked.

He used a different bathroom on the barge and then went to make a call in a separate part of the barge, where the WiFi had better connection.

He spoke to someone from his home country Sierra Leone for about an hour and a half before going back to the bedroom and sleeping in the top bunk.

A view of the Bibby Stockholm migrant accommodation barge (PA)
A view of the Bibby Stockholm migrant accommodation barge (PA)

It was only when he woke up at 5.30am the next morning that he realised Mr Farruku’s bottom bunk had not been slept in – and the bathroom door was still locked when he tried to open it.

Mr Kargbo, a former Commonwealth Games competitor, said he knocked on the door multiple times before alerting security staff on board.

He said: "At first they didn’t take me seriously but after I asked them again they came and had a look. When they got no reply they forced the door open and found (Mr Farruku) unconscious."

Mr Kargbo said he was ushered out of the room and not allowed back in to get his clothes or documents.

He claims he was not offered any psychological support from the Home Office.

The young man urged the British Government to stop using the barge to house asylum seekers.

He said: "Another death could happen there at any time. More people will take their lives. Everyone on the barge is so isolated.

"I feel so stressed by everything that happened and my anxiety and depression have increased."

Mr Kargbo was removed from the barge several days after the tragedy, after an intervention from the charity Care4Calais.

CEO Steve Smith criticised the alleged lack of help, saying: "In a caring and compassionate society the trauma of experiencing the suicide of the person you have been told to share a room with would immediately trigger a package of support. Not under this government."

A spokesperson for the Home Office said:  "This was a tragic incident, and our thoughts are with everyone affected. This is being investigated by the police and coroner. We take the welfare of those in our care very seriously, and have rigorous safeguarding processes in place.

"Any concerns raised about the service delivered on the barge are swiftly addressed through our work with the provider, and Migrant Help 24/7 is also available every day of the year."