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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Suicide pact brothers bought over-the-counter drugs to die - Barrow inquest hears

TWO half-brothers from Barrow gorged on over-the-counter drugs after they entered into a suicide pact – but one survived and woke to find the other dead, a Barrow inquest heard.

Geoffrey Dodson and Andrew Pell bought the drugs from shops and took them at Mr Dodson’s home in Westmorland Street, Barrow on November 23 last year.

Both had agreed they wanted to die, but Mr Pell survived and woke up the next day and found his half-brother dead. The inquest into the 23-year-old’s death was told yesterday that the pathologist found several drugs in his blood.

There was enough to put Mr Dodson, who had mental health problems, into a coma from which he never woke up and he died from multiple drug intoxication.

Detective constable Alarna Butcher told the hearing in Barrow Town Hall: “After speaking to professionals in the mental health service, it became apparent he suffered from mental health problems which had gone on for several years.

“The previous morning, (the half-brothers) had decided together they would end their lives and went to shops and bought as many tablets as they could and they would return home and end their lives together.”

The inquest heard they took the tablets and became unconscious. Mr Pell contacted the ambulance service after he woke up and found Mr Dodson dead.

Mr Ian Smith, south and east Cumbria coroner, concluded that Mr Dodson died as a consequence of his own actions while suffering from mental illness.

He summed up: “The medical explanation of his death is very simple. He had taken extensive quantities of drugs – by which I mean the over-the-counter ones you can buy in small quantities – and it seems they had gone out together and gone round various shops and bought quantities of over-the-counter medications.

“They appeared to jointly agree to it all and consumed quantities of tablets. Mr Pell woke up the following day and Mr Dodson did not.”

The Evening Mail contacted Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which is responsible for mental health services. A spokeswoman said that due to patient confidentiality she could not confirm whether or not Mr Dodson used the services.

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