An explosion which ripped through a block of flats and killed a man was “not predictable or preventable”, a report has found.
Guido Schuette, 46, died in the Valentine’s Day blast, believed to be caused by petrol fumes igniting in his flat in Gibbs Crescent on February 14 last year.
Oxfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board said in a report published last week that neither police nor mental health services could have stopped Mr Schuette, whether the blast was intentional or not.
The independent report concluded: “There was good inter-agency working in relation to the two psychiatric assessments [of Mr Schuette] in 2016 and 2017.
“Even if the fire was deliberate, this incident was not predictable or preventable by mental health services or Thames Valley Police.
“While [Mr Schuette] clearly had outbursts of anger at times, he was not apparently suffering from mental illness, and denied suicidal intent or any desire to harm others.”
An inquest in February found the explosion was probably an accident but, due to strange behaviour and comments made by Mr Schuette in the days before the blast, an intentional motive could not be ruled out.
According to the report, police visited Mr Schuette on February 10, just four days before the explosion, after a neighbour said he was “shouting and banging”.
Mr Schuette had threatened to set fire to the flats the previous night and officers forced their way into his home at 7.05am to find him sat with two knives.
He was restrained when he lunged at officers.
A ‘thorough’ mental assessment of Mr Schuette was subsequently carried out but assessors concluded he was not suffering from mental illness and did not need hospital treatment.
Police carried out a ‘proportionate’ search of his home but did not find evidence of stockpiled fuel, the report added.
The findings highlighted how authorities recognised there was a possible risk of an accidental fire at Mr Schuette’s ‘cluttered’ flat but “this risk did not appear to be imminent and no evidence of large volumes of fuel was found”.
A ‘keying error’ in the electronic system used by the adult mental health team meant no contact was made with Mr Schuette on February 13 and 14.
The full report can be viewed at tinyurl.com/ycc65n9w