Weston father with long history of mental illness found hanged in Clarence Park

PUBLISHED: 06:55 21 August 2019

An inquest into his death was held at Avon Coroner's Court in Flax Bourton.

An inquest into his death was held at Avon Coroner's Court in Flax Bourton.

Archant

A Weston-super-Mare father who had a history of mental health problems was found hanged in a park, an inquest has been told.

Matthew White, aged 50, was discovered by a couple walking their dogs in Clarence Park East on November 24 - two days after calling his son for the final time.

Police and paramedics attended the scene shortly at approximately 9.25am.

An inquest at Avon Coroner's Court yesterday (Tuesday) heard Mr White had a long history of depression, anxiety, self-harming and suicidal thoughts.

Mr White's son, Jake, said his father called him two days before this death to 'hear his voice for the last time'.

In a statement read at the inquest, Jake said: "My dad was in poor health due to alcohol abuse.

"He had a small social network and no contact with other family or friends.

"He rang me two days before his death and told me he wanted to hear my voice for the last time before going missing for two days."

On November 18, six days before his death, Mr White contacted police when he was sitting on the cliff edge at Uphill Quarry.

A negotiator was called and talked him down, when he was sectioned by officers under the mental health act.

Mr White was released the following day but then went missing for two days.

Consultant, Dr Victoria McAllister, described Mr White as a 'high risk' patient.

He was classed as depressed and prescribed antidepressants at his last visit to his GP at New Court Surgery.

Pathologist, Dr Karin Denton, who carried out a post-mortem examination, said Mr White was known to the mental health services and his body tested positive for benzodiazepines.

Dr Denton also found Mr White's blood-ethanol levels were twice the legal limit, meaning his judgement would have been 'seriously impaired'.

PC Donna Hemwell, who attended the scene, found a note in Mr White's pocket stating his intentions to end his life.

Assistant coroner, Dr Peter Harrowing, said: "Mr White intended to take the action to sadly end his life."

Dr Harrowing concluded Mr White's death was suicide.

Anyone in need of help can call the Samaritans on 116123.

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