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Telegraph and Argus
by Steve Wright
6:00am Saturday 21st September 2013
A man, who was left “utterly bereft” by the death of his wife from cancer died after taking an overdose of his medication, an inquest heard.
Daniel Gorman, 32, was found in bed, at his home in Bradford Road, Clayton, Bradford, with a photo of his wife Danielle beside him.
Assistant Coroner Caroline Sumeray told relatives: “This is almost Romeo and Juliet, a tragedy. He could not live without her.”
But Mrs Sumeray recorded an open verdict because she could not be sure Mr Gorman intended to kill himself.
The Bradford inquest heard Mr Gorman had a history of depression but he had become worse since the death of his wife. He was found at home on March 5 this year after his mother, Susan Cahill, alerted police when he failed to turn up at her home for tea.
Mr Gorman was found to have fatal levels of morphine in his body, and toxic levels of an anti-depressant and and anti-convulsant.
The inquest heard he had a history of epilepsy, personality disorder and drug abuse and had deliberately taken overdoses on several occasions. Since the death of Danielle he had asked his GP for extra medication to help him sleep.
In a statement, his mother said he had been devastated by Danielle’s death, last October from lymphoma non-Hodgkins Disease. They had two daughters, aged 13 and 11.
Mrs Cahill said Mr Gorman had told her he took drugs when he found out Danielle was terminally ill. He suffered mental health issues and said he had been hearing voices.
The inquest heard that a serious incident investigation report by the Bradford District NHS Care Trust found some failings in the co-ordination of Mr Gorman’s care and made a number of recommendations.
Mrs Sumeray said a photo was found beside Mr Gorman of Danielle and their baby daughter. She said: “It looks like he just drifted off to sleep.”
The Assistant Coroner said: “He was clearly utterly bereft without his wife and was possibly feeling he couldn’t cope with his mental health problems on his own.”
Mrs Sumeray said there was no suicide note and she had to consider whether Mr Gorman did not realise what he was taking because he was confused or so blinded by grief, or simply forgotten what he had already taken.
She added: “I cannot say beyond doubt that he intended to kill himself. There is a strong suspicion he may have done, but because I can’t be sure, because it may have been accidental, the only conclusion I can return is an open verdict.”