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Family Of Man Killed By Hospital Patient Calls For Change

An inquest will examine the death of a hospital patient who died at the hands of a man he was sharing a room with in 2014.

Stephen Barton, 43, was killed by a man he was sharing a room with in the psychiatric ward of a hospital south of Adelaide.

That man – was Lindon Sekrst – an ice addict, in a paranoid state and suffering from a drug-induced psychosis, when he attacked. Barton was strangled as he slept.

In 2017, Sekrst struck a plea deal and was sentenced to seven years and three months jail for manslaughter.

Two years later, and the death is under examination by the coroner. On Tuesday, an inquest in Adelaide began examining the circumstances around the fatal incident.

Barton's sisters and niece returned to court, hopeful the inquest will lead to recommendations that will better protect anyone in mental health care. They carried a cherished photo of their brother.

Stephen Barton with his mother.

"We strongly feel that there are changes that need to be made within the health and mental health care system," Glen Westerhoff, Barton's sister, told 10 News First outside court.

"We believe that patients should be completely diagnosed prior to being placed in a shared room."

The family’s also expressed sorrow for Sekrst, who they say also suffered under the health system's failings.

"Mr Sekrst has lost his freedom also, he was there to be treated also," Barton's other sister, Katherine Hoffman, told 10 News First.

Mr Barton's sisters, Glen Westerhoff (left) and Katherine Hoffman.

But the family also expressed sorrow for Sekrst, who they say also suffered under the health system's failings.

"Mr Sekrst has lost his freedom also, he was there to be treated also," Barton's other sister, Katherine Hoffman, told 10 News First.

The inquest continues.

Contact the author: tryan@networkten.com.au