Man ignored partner’s pleas and hanged himself — (Western Wards Gazette)

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The Western Wards Gazette

Thursday, January 02, 2014

A man described by his family as a “loving person” hanged himself in his garage in Park Gate despite  his partner trying to stop him, an inquest heard.

James Ewers, who had drinking and anxiety problems, ignored the pleas of his partner Karen Chambers and hanged himself using a heavy steel cable in the garage of their home in Southampton Road, Park Gate, while she was phoning for help.

Ms Chambers said on the day of his death on March 28, he was not his usual organised self preparing for work as a salesman.

The pair later went grocery shopping, where Mr Ewers was emotional and had tears running down his face, said Ms Chambers.

When they returned to the house, Ms Chambers took the shopping out of the car while Mr Ewers took a ladder into the garage, collected a steel cable from his laptop that he used to create a “noose” and hanged himself. He had told Ms Chambers he was going into the loft to get holiday clothes for a trip they were due to take.

“I opened the garage door and he had the cable in his hand and he was trying to put it over his head,” said Ms Chambers. “I said ‘what are you doing, please don’t do this’.

“I looked at his face and was pleading with him and trying to get it off him.”

She went into the house to call the emergency services and when she returned to the garage she found Mr Ewers had committed suicide. He was aged 33.

Ms Chambers and the emergency services tried to hold the weight of Mr Ewers and after many attempts emergency crews were able to cut the cable. Mr Ewers was given CPR in the ambulance, but to no avail, and was pronounced dead at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.

Mr Ewers had successfully completed a detox from alcohol at home a year earlier, the inquest in Portsmouth heard, but on the day of his death he told Ms Chambers he needed help again. He was also taking prescription anti-depressants in the month before his death.

A toxicology report showed Mr Ewers had more than three times the drink drive limit of alcohol in his blood.

Robert Stone, deputy coroner of Portsmouth and South East Hampshire, said despite the level of alcohol in Mr Ewers’ blood, he believed it did not impair his judgement.

“I don’t think that the quantity of alcohol in James’ blood was sufficient to mean that he was unaware of what he was doing,” said Mr Stone.

He also said to Ms Chambers: “I’m absolutely sure you did everything possible to stop it happening.”

Mr Stone gave the verdict that Mr Ewers took his own life.