Thomas Rawnsley’s Death – The Final Inhumanity


Paula Rawnsley, posted a description of the night Thomas died, in the IamThomas Facebook site.

That was 16 long months ago, and Paula is still no nearer to finding out, what happened to her 20 year old fit son, and, why, or how he died, in his enforced, private venture capital backed supported living .

It is residential provision, like Thomas’, that is now,  heralded by all, as the answer, to both the Winterbourne View abuse, and the thousands living in Adult Treatment Units.

Paula’s words speak for themselves.

And, speak volumes, of what our society has become, and how it treats its people, particularly, pure souls like Thomas, even in death.

‘A lady, who appeared to be lovely, came to talk to us about organ donation, which we agreed to as a family very quickly, after all, anyone who got Thomas’ heart would be extremely blessed!!!!

The lovely lady, said she would pull the curtains around his bed, because there were three other patients, all conscious, on the ward. She said she would move Thomas’ bed against the wall, so one of us could lay with him, if we so wished, and she, personally, would come and take some hand prints from Thomas.

After she left ,to give our family some time to think, and decide what time we wanted to say our goodbyes, we started talking about how we had no idea what had happened to Thomas, and, of course, we couldn’t donate his organs, because there would have to be a post mortem.

I told the, seemingly, nice lady this, and she just left, never to be seen again!!!

Another lady turned up wearing her coat, and hurriedly took some hand prints quite roughly, and pressing Thomas’ hand, so hard to the extent my eldest daughter Becky suggested she be more gentle with her brother only to be met with the response

“you do know he’s already dead?”

And then she too left. The prints were later posted to my address, but they were addressed to someone I’ve never heard of. Luckily they were Thomas’ prints, I’d know his cute and chubby little fingers anywhere.

Nothing else was done as promised!!

We chose straight after visiting hours, so apart from the other patients, nobody else could intrude on our grief ,but one family stayed, arguing amongst themselves very loudly and aggressively around the bed opposite Thomas’ and adding greatly to our stress.

I was assuming Thomas’ nurse would ask them to leave and maybe explain why, but no. He was too busy complaining about how sore his feet were because he’d worn shoes that were too tight, so after the family finally had enough of screaming at each other and left, we just told the nurse it was time.

We sat and watched my beautiful, amazing, and misunderstood boy’s heart stop beating, his shoulders shudder for a few seconds, and his healthy pink colour quickly disappear to be replaced by a mottled blue.

We all kissed him, and then looked at each other not knowing what to do, so we just left to travel back to Bradford in silence, then all went our separate ways.

Nobody spoke to us, nobody suggested what to expect next, there were no words of comfort!!’



  1. I do not know how Paula has borne all that she has. Watching Thomas being drugged into a stupor must have been absolutely terrible. Reduced to living a non-life. Like so many others behind closed doors. Out of sight and out of mind. Only families know what heartache that is. If only the people who did this to him could have stood in his shoes and felt his pain.

    So having to deal with insensitive NHS staff must have been almost the final insult. What utter bastards they all were to him.

    I hope you get answers and justice Paula.


    1. Worse still, at 18, removal to such places, is the only government policy, to boost our economy at expense of families, our most vulnerable, and many lives.

      And, is the answer to the Winterbourne, and all those living in ATUs.

      Only !% of deaths of LD, appear to be investigated in the country, and, that is in public NHS treatment.

      We have no figures, for those in private NHS, or supported living like Thomas.

      Rather than stand in his shoes, those, that did this to Thomas, at, at least an average of £3,500 per week, for 2 years, will have pocketed £364,000,and we can add on the drug costs, lawyers, courts, experts, social workers, investigations, to date All public money.

      For what?

      If they were builders, and their house fell down, they would have to pay the money back, and lose their reputation.

      What they did with public money, to poor Thomas is much, much worse. He cannot be rebuilt, he cannot be compensated for his life, and his beyond horror suffering.

      Paula, nor her family, can be compensated for their loss, and horrendous ongoing anguish, which will last their lives.

      And, we do not know how many more have suffered his fate

      What will happen to those responsible ? Or even to stop it happening to others in the future.


  2. Wow. I hope your questions get answered to what happened to your son. The pain can be unbearable when you lose a child some people may never talk to you again. That’s what happened to me. Your son is handsome he should of been treated better by the hospital staff and you all should of been treated better.


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