Open verdict on death of teacher found hanging — (icberkshire)

SSRI Ed note: Man who lost his son given antidepressants, he feels worse, dies by hanging himself, wife finds him. Coroner give open verdict.

Original article no longer available


Nov 30 2006

CONFUSION surrounds the death of a maths teacher who was found hanging from a loft ladder by his wife.

Susan Storey returned home early from a shopping trip on June 23 and found 51-year-old husband Mark’s body, which was still warm to the touch.

When paramedics arrived minutes later at the couple’s home in Godstow Close, Woodley, they confirmed Mr Storey – who had had a doctor’s appointment that morning about his worsening depression – was dead.

Mrs Storey said her husband took an over-dose of paracetamol in 1984 but in March this year the symptoms of his depression began to reappear, with sleepless nights and panic attacks.

Mrs Storey said work-related stress – which worsened after his worried boss asked him to work from home – could have been behind it.

He was also feeling depressed because June 29 would have been the 22nd birthday of their son Peter, who died from heart disease in 2001.

Mrs Storey told a Windsor inquest: “I became concerned because his behaviour was strange. It was just his general attitude, at work he became very distracted.

“He said he had been thinking about Peter a lot more. His birthday was particularly hard.

“He agreed to go to the doctor. I said, ‘You are going to have to tell him how you really feel’. In 1984 he didn’t tell the doctor how he felt.”

He was prescribed anti-depressants on June 6 but his condition worsened, and another appointment was booked for the morning he died. But Berkshire coroner Peter Bedford said he could not rule out the possibility of a “grand gesture”.

Recording an open verdict, he said: “It’s not unheard of for people to expect to be found in time and saved, perhaps a man who wants to be reconciled with his wife or girlfriend.

“He realised he needed to go back to the doctor. The sequence suggests that he acknowledged and realised he needed help, which makes it so inexplicable.”