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Friday, 19 December 2014

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Barrow man hanged himself after finding friend’s body

A MAN hanged himself after discovering the body of his friend in a flat below his Barrow home, an inquest heard.

Joseph Palmer, 49, was discovered in his flat in Holker Street, Barrow, on December 5.

An inquest at Barrow Town Hall on Friday heard Mr Palmer struggled with depression during his life.

His sister, Margaret Williams, told South and East Cumbria Coroner Ian Smith her brother had turned to alcohol to deal with his depressive episodes.

However, he managed to give it up in 2000 before starting drinking again in the two years before his death, she said.

His sister said: “He was a very quiet, private person. In some ways I think he was a bit lonely.

“He was very helpful and used to regularly do things for neighbours and walk the dog for the gentleman downstairs.

“Two months before he took his own life he found the gentleman dead downstairs. That affected him.

“This gentleman was in a similar situation and they had a friendship.”

Two years before Mr Palmer’s death his benefit was re-assessed, which threw him into a “bit of a panic” as he was not sure where his income would come from, she said.

Mrs Williams added: “After that he started to drink again and I think that is significant. He was getting worse over the last three or four weeks.

“His drinking was increasing. He had said he couldn’t see the point and he thought about hanging himself.”

Dr Deepak Mohan, of the Norwood Medical Centre, said Mr Palmer had been on anti-depressants and had mentioned to him he could not see the point in life.

The coroner said the cause of death was hanging, but did not record a verdict of suicide.

He said: “Mr Palmer died as a consequence of his own actions while suffering from mental illness.

“That’s not suicide. It’s a description of what happened. He wasn’t in full possession of his mental faculties, the illness had taken over.”

After the inquest his family released a statement saying they were saddened by Mr Palmer’s death and he was greatly missed.

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