Shropshire Star

Suicide verdict on Telford overdose man

The family of a depressed man who killed himself just days after a similar attempt failed believed he should not have been released from hospital, an inquest heard.


Mark Wayne Evans was found in his locked car on a car park at Teece Drive, Priorslee, Telford, on December 2.

He had taken an overdose of the anti-depressant dosulepin.

At his inquest in Wellington yesterday, Shropshire coroner John Ellery concluded that Mr Evans had taken his own life.

The 49-year-old, of Bullrush Glade in St Georges, Telford, had been admitted to the Princess Royal Hospital just a few days before his death. He was discharged on December 1 last year after medics and a mental health specialist decided he was fit to leave hospital.

Mr Evans's brother-in-law Tony Allenza told the hearing: "I feel he told you (the medics) what you wanted to hear as a medical team. He was a very strong character."

He and other family representatives questioned whether Mr Evans should have been discharged from hospital so soon after taking an overdose. The inquest heard that Mr Evans had made two previous attempts at suicide before the two incidents in December, all related to the break-up of relationships.

He was convinced he had bipolar disorder and had been referred for an assessment, the inquest heard.

Gwenda Smith, a specialist nurse with South Staffordshire and Shropshire Mental Health NHS Trust, said she had assessed Mr Evans as being fit to leave after he told her he had no intention of attempting suicide and again and that he intended to keep his appointment with the mental health team.

She said the law did not allow people to be detained against their will under the Mental Health Act unless there was strong evidence that he was a risk to himself or others or that he was not mentally capable of making his own decisions.

She added: "He talked mainly about his future plans. He talked about how he wanted to sort out his life." Ms Smith said she discussed other help Mr Evans could get but he declined.

Mr Ellery said the toxicology report showed Mr Evans had more than twice the normally-fatal concentration of dosulepin in his system, as well as a small quantity of alcohol and a trace of metabolites of cocaine, suggesting he had taken the drug eight to 12 hours before he died. He had left a note which Mr Ellery said made it clear he intended to kill himself.

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