Open verdict recorded in Maurice Cousins inquest — (The Herald)

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The Herald

By Cornish Guardian

Posted: December 24, 2013

A FATHER of one from Pensilva was found dead at the bottom of a disused quarry with fatal head injuries, an inquest has heard.

The body of 55-year-old Maurice Cousins of Glen Park, Pensilva was discovered by police at the bottom of Gold Diggings quarry near Minions on Bodmin Moor at 11am on April 11 this year.

Truro Coroner’s Court heard last week that Mr Cousins had been suffering from depression and anxiety for at least 40 years, including an overdose of anti-depressants in 1982, and was “convinced” that a recently diagnosed stomach condition was cancer, worsening the depression.

The Trago Mills storeman was described by brother Graham as “an introvert” and “hypochondriac who worried about minor ailments”.

The inquest heard that in the days before his death Mr Cousins had panic attacks, “thought he was better off dead” and travelled to the cliffs in Tintagel to kill himself but couldn’t carry out the action.

The day before his death Mr Cousins cancelled a service on his car and was described as restless, increasingly anxious and went for many short walks, one of which required him to be picked up by daughter Marie, 32.

That night Marie stayed at Mr Cousins’ Pensilva home due to her concern over his mental state and was awoken at 3.30am by the sound of his car being driven off.

The next morning Marie awoke and realised Mr Cousins hadn’t returned home in the night.

Deeply concerned, Marie’s aunt Mandy reported him  missing and shortly after police located his Honda Civic in Hurlers car park in Minions, and area which he liked.

Officers were then led to the top of the quarry cliffs where they found Mr Cousins’ jacket, before finding him motionless next to the water at the bottom having suffered visible head injuries.

A few days after the incident a note was found under Mr Cousins’ mattress which said that he “loved” his daughter and was “very proud” of her.

Recording an open verdict, coroner Emma Carlyon said an accident or cry for help could not be excluded and that it is unclear how and when the head injuries were sustained.

She said: “We cannot be sure what his intentions were and an accident or cry for help is not impossible.”

The cause of death was said to be multiple injuries to the head and organs. The only substance found Mr Cousins blood stream was an anti-depressant.

Mr Cousins grew up in Cardinham near Bodmin and married once, divorcing wife Christine in the early 1980’s with whom he fathered his only child.