Depressed Cheshunt man hung himself — (Hertfordshire Mercury)

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Hertfordshire Mercury


July 5, 2013

A “WONDERFUL son” sunk into depression after his parents died and went on to take his own life, an inquest has heard.

Retired grocer Alan Harrison, 70, doted on his mum and dad – even going as far as retiring so he could care for them.

But their deaths – along with a potential return of his prostate cancer and difficulties refurbishing his home – led Mr Harrison to hang himself.

Hertfordshire Coroners’ Court heard yesterday (July 4) how Mr Harrison had a long-standing depressive disorder.

He was taking anti-depressants to combat this, but was described by Dr Slawomir Rogowski as “low and anxious” a week before he hung himself.

Coroner Edward Thomas said concerns about a potential return of Mr Harrison’s cancer would likely have been playing on his mind.

Mr Harrison was also in the midst of a revamp of his home, in Sheldon Cross, Cheshunt, which had been lengthy and cost in the region of £72,000.

Mr Thomas said: “I wonder if the cost of the renovation was an additional worry to an already worried man.”

On April 21 last year, Mr Harrison was found dead in his hallway by painter/decorator Jeffrey Unwin, who was visiting to check on a leak he had helped fix.

Mr Harrison had hung himself with a wire attached to his bannister and was already dead when emergency services arrived.

After Mr Harrison’s mum died in 2005, he tried to commit suicide by taking an overdose.

His house fell into “considerable disrepair” after his mum’s death,

A statement from Mr Harrison’s cousin Tony Walsh read: “Alan was a devoted, caring son to both his parents. He gave up work to look after them.”

In a bid to move on, he set about renovating the home and was thinking of selling it to down size.

However, work carried out to the house in 2011 dragged on and costs piled up.

Investigating officer PC Kelly Gray told the court that the work saw Mr Harrison sell all his bonds and his bank account was near zero.

The verdict recorded by Mr Thomas was that Mr Harrison took his own life while suffering from a depressive disorder.

Mr Thomas said: “There were a number of factors – the thought of leaving the house, that there was a lot of work to be hone, how much it cost and also a recurrence of the cancer.

“I think all of it was just a bit much for him.

“He was a man who was obviously a wonderful son who cared a lot for his parents, did a lot for them was then was bereft [when they died].”