Father overdosed after girl left home — (Staffordshire Newsletter)

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Staffordshire  Newsletter

By Staf Newsletter

Posted: April 17, 2003

A Stafford alcoholic killed himself by overdosing on antidepressants and painkillers, an inquest heard this week.   Alexander Abercrombie, of Main Road, Little Haywood, was found dead at his home by his brother, Stevenson Abercrombie, on January 28, after taking an amount of tramadol and dothiepin.

The court heard how he was a heavy drinker, but his drinking had worsened in recent years following his marriage breakdown and loss of custody of his 11-year-old daughter.

It was also revealed Mr Abercrombie, 39, had a history of anxiety and depression. He had been caught drink driving twice in the past, and faced a possible jail term after being caught a third time shortly before his death.

Dr Valerie Suarez, consultant pathologist at Staffordshire General Hospital, carried out a post mortem on Mr Abercrombie. She said the amount of tramadol in his system was consistent with an overdose, while the level of dothiepin was more than normal. This, coupled with levels of alcohol in his system, was given as the main cause of death.

The death was investigated by police, but officers found no there was no suspicious circumstances and no suggestion of any third party involvement.

A statement by his ex-wife, Gillian Munslow said that although the couple were divorced in 1996, their daughter lived with Mr Abercrombie in Great Haywood.

Mrs Munslow said: “I would describe him as an alcoholic. He deteriorated since 2001 due to the breakdown of another relationship and has been unable to work since then.”

In early December 2002, their daughter decided she no longer wanted to live with her father because he would go to the pub most nights. “I went to the house and packed her stuff. He said he was sorry and would kill himself if she went away. She decided to give him another chance.”

However, the situation did not improve and their daughter did eventually leave to live with her mother.

Mr Abercrombie’s friend, John Meakin, of Farcoley Farm, Little Haywood, said his friend appeared very depressed when they spoke the night before he was found dead in his home.

His brother, Stevenson Abercrombie, of The Croft, Hixon, said he felt his brother had a problem with alcohol, but there was no history of self harm or any desire to kill himself.

Staffordshire South coroner, Andrew Haigh said the low levels of alcohol were unlikely to have affected Mr Abercrombie’s judgement, and gave the cause of death as tramadol poisoning and dothiepin and alcohol ingestion. He recorded a verdict of suicide.