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The Watford Observer
9 Aug 2003
Sue Brackell was speaking after the inquest into the death her son, former Ilford County High pupil Liam Brackell.
As reported in the Guardian last week, 24-year-old Liam walked in front of a train at Manor Park station on June 8 after suffering psychiatric problems that his mother believes were made worse by drugs bought over the internet.
After the jury of five men and four women delivered their verdict at Walthamstow Coroner’s Court Mrs Brackell said: “I want these sites closed down. I have tried the police and help groups, but nobody seems to know about this problem or do anything about it.
“I am angry with the power of the internet. It’s like fighting an invisible enemy.”
In a statement to the court, Mrs Brackell told how Liam began experimenting with street drugs while at Durham University. In a bid to stave off side-effects he started purchasing anti-depressants from sites on the internet.
These compounded his problems and he was diagnosed as suffering from a drug induced psychosis after running out in front of a bus in July 2002.
He came under the care of the Redbridge Community Mental Health Team but continued dosing himself with medicines from the internet including Amisolporide, Respirodone and Prozac.
By May of this year he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia made worse by [created by – Ed] all the drugs he had been taking. His mother calculates that he took at least 23 separate drugs.
His father, in a statement to the court, recounted Liam’s final hours. He said: “It was obvious that his condition was deteriorating. He was in his bedroom and I was asleep and I heard banging on the floor.
“I got him to come downstairs and he was obviously having a bad time with the voices. I told him to hang on until they wore off.”
“Although he seemed OK next morning I felt uneasy when he said he was going for a walk. I said don’t be long, but he didn’t return.”
Liam had gone to Manor Park station, near where he lived as a child, and walked in front of a train.
Summing up, Coroner Dr Elizabeth Stearns described Liam as: “A talented and gifted boy who achieved three A grades in his A-levels and went to an excellent university.”
She said: “These substances obviously had a dire effect on his mental health. It is clear that his loving and supportive family tried their hardest to help him.”
In recording the jury’s verdict Dr Stearn promised to forward a copy of Mrs Brackell’s statement to the Government’s Drugs Research Team.