The tragic death of a young man who stabbed himself 14 times in Sidcup town centre was “not a case of suicide”, a coroner has ruled.

Christian Bristo was found behind Hadlow Road library on December 5 2013 with 12 self-inflicted stab wounds to the abdomen and two to the chest.

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Where Christian was found

Christian, 27, who had mental health problems, had smoked cannabis that morning and thought the ‘spiritual SOS’ were coming for him.

Library staff discovered Christian lying in a bush, conscious but covered in blood, and immediately rang the emergency services and administered care.

He had stolen a packet of three knives from the 99p store on the High Street and was found with a large, black handled kitchen knife close to where he was lying.

The Drive resident was taken to Royal London Hospital but died five days later, on December 10, from pneumonia caused by his injuries.

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Christian being taken to hospital

The deceased’s mother Francesca Bristo described her son as an “extremely gentle, non-violent person”.

She said: “It was a very dramatic thing that happened on the 5th.

“Christian came running into the kitchen and said ‘I need to get a knife, I need to stab myself’.”

He later retracted the comment, but his parents were extremely worried.


His father Steven Bristo hid all their knives while his mother rang Oxleas NHS foundation trust, in Dartford, where Christian had been receiving care since May 28.

Mrs Bristo spoke to Edison Phiri, her son’s new care co-ordinator who had joined Oxleas just two days earlier, but was told a psychiatrist was unavailable.

Mrs Bristo recalled saying: “I do not think you understand. We have a crisis here.”

The call was logged by Mr Phiri at 2:50pm with Dr Mathew to attend Christian’s house as soon as possible.

Mrs Bristo told the Coroner she believed this was some time after they spoke.

By the time Dr Mathew arrived, Christian had convinced his father to let him out of the house, running straight to Sidcup High Street.

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The journey Christian made to the town centre. Image: Google Maps.

Mrs Bristo added that her son had not eaten for two weeks, and was talking increasingly about God.

He had stopped taking his anti-psychotic and anti-depressive medication on June 6.

Despite previously having weekly meetings with nurse Tracy Ball, the ‘low risk’ patient was not seen by a medical professional for three or four weeks preceding his death.

Coroner Selena Lynch told Croydon Coroners Court on Wednesday (February 11): “On 5th December 2013 at about 3pm Christian Bristo stabbed himself repeatedly in the chest.

“He suffered from cannabis induced psychosis. It’s unlikely that he understood the quality of his actions or intended the consequences.”

Ms Lynch ruled out suicide, accidental death and negligence by medical health professionals.

If you knew Christian and would like to leave a tribute, call 01689 885702 or email