Debt fear triggered overdose of St Austell man Kenneth Isted — (Cornish Guardian)

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Cornish Guardian

By Cornish Guardian  

Posted: March 13, 2013

A ST AUSTELL man took a cocktail of prescription drugs because of the stress of his debts, an inquest has heard.   Kenneth Isted died in hospital on August 5 last year, four days after taking the mixture of drugs at his home in Jubilee Meadows.

His family said they wished he had sought help with his financial plight, of which they were unaware.  Relatives grew concerned for the welfare of Mr Isted, 63, on August 1 last year when he did not answer his phone or his front door.

The police were called and PCs Ben Morris and Mark Allinson went to the bungalow, banging on the doors and windows without getting a response and eventually resorting to smashing one of the rear windows to gain entry.

PC Morris told the inquest on Thursday that someone inside the house shouted out and Mr Isted opened the door, confused, pale, sweating and wearing only pyjama bottoms.

The officer said he found a litter of empty packs of paracetamol and prescription medication. He called an ambulance and Mr Isted was taken to hospital.

Mr Isted. originally from Kent, had lived with his mother as her carer until she died in January 2008.    A GP’s report read at the inquest stated he suffered with depression after this.

His brother Raymond Isted told the inquest that on the day police found Kenneth he asked why he had attempted to take his own life.

Mr Isted had replied that he was “broke” and didn’t know if he could even afford his rent.  “I was shocked,” he told the inquest. “We had no idea at all – and we saw him on a regular basis.

“He’d always been a loner – kept himself to himself – and we wondered how he would be when mum died, but he seemed like he was coping fine.”

A post-mortem examination following his death, days later, revealed the retired cabinetmaker died from multiple organ failure as a result of the overdose.  

Coroner for Cornwall Dr Emma Carlyon recorded a verdict of suicide.  After the inquest his brothers Raymond and Martin Isted and sister Chris Isted said they wished Kenneth had opened up about his financial straits so they could have helped.

They said they were puzzled to learn he was in financial difficulties as he had a car he rarely used which could have been sold and was not claiming benefits to which he was entitled.

“He was too proud,” said Martin. “He was a very caring person and was a different man after mum passed away. We’re quite a close family and all live in St Austell and it’s so sad he wouldn’t open up to us about his problems. We’re all here for each other. We could have helped.”

Raymond added: “He would do anything for anyone. He was a lovely person and it’s still a shock what happened.”