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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Mother’s death may have led to Barrow man’s suicide

THE family of a man found hanged in a remote outbuilding say he may have killed himself because he couldn’t cope with the death of his mum.

An inquest at Barrow Town Hall yesterday heard how Mark James March could have committed suicide on or near to Mother’s Day this year.

South and East Cumbria coroner Mr Ian Smith said that two of the three witnesses due to give evidence at the hearing had been excused as they were not up to it.

He explained how the 30-year-old was identified via fingerprints and palm prints and Home Office pathologist Dr Alison Armour had said the cause of death was by hanging.

Mr March’s body was found in an outbuilding at woodland near Millwood Lane between Barrow and Dalton on June 3 after he went missing on March 9 from his Dane Ghyll Park home, Barrow.

The only witness, Detective Sergeant Mike Wallace, explained how Barrow CID launched an investigation after he disappeared.

He said they had searched the area, including his childhood haunts, and carried out an air search of the coastline.

DS Wallace also said they had also looked at his Facebook account, his mobile phone and his internet searches.

The officer said they had found documentation to show he had recently pawned jewellery and in the week before he went missing had bought an item from Halfords which was used in his suicide.

DS Wallace said there was evidence of misuse of drugs but he was not known to the police for this.

He added: “In June a lady was tending to her horses in a field. One bolted and headed towards the building at the other end of the field she never went in.

“She was horrified to find a person hanging. There was a rucksack nearby which contained documentation to show it was Mark March.”

The family spoke out at this point and said that they strongly believed that the driving force behind his actions was the death of his mother.

Summing up, Mr Smith said: “We know he was found hanged and this was the cause of his death. This was an action he took himself. I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that he caused his own death so I record a verdict of suicide.

“The triggering factor may have been that he couldn’t cope with his mother’s death. It was approaching Mother’s Day and he may have taken his life on that day.”

Mr March’s mum, Dorothy Jill March, banged her head on a kerb after a dog startled her and caused her to fall.

The 58-year-old already had dementia when she suffered the accident in Dalton Lane, Barrow, on the evening of May 27, 2009.

The dog, which was off its lead, ran across her but did not make any contact.

Mrs March died in Abbey Meadow care home on September 4, 2011.

Consultant psychiatrist, Dr Ken Wood, told an inquest at the time that Mrs March’s frontotemporal dementia would have led to her death by that time, regardless of the accident.


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