Former soldier took overdose – inquest

A FORMER soldier from Worksop who suffered from mental health problems died after taking an overdose of anti-depressants.

An inquest into the death of John Molyneaux, 49, heard that his body was found in his flat at Masefield Place on 29th May.

Deputy coroner for Notts Martin Gotheridge recorded an open verdict saying there was no way of knowing whether the overdose was ‘intentional or accidental’.

Mr Molyneaux’s sister Debora, of Rufford Street, gave evidence at the hearing at Nottingham Coroners’ Court.

”He was very depressed towards the end. He just kept saying that he wanted to feel better,” she said.

Ian Smith, who used to share a flat with Mr Molyneaux, called round to see him on the evening of 29th May.

Mr Smith, who had been released from Ranby Prison that morning, let himself in with his key and found him in his bedroom ‘lying face down with his clothes on’.

”I shook his arm and it was freezing and his face was all black. I went out to another flat and told a guy I knew that I’d found Johnny dead.”

”A girl in the flat came back with me and took his pulse and said he was gone.”

Joanne Devenish, a community psychiatric nurse, had regular contact with Mr Molyneaux and explained that he suffered from bi-polar disorder.

”He suffered from extremes of mood so he would go from being elated to being depressed,” she said.

A member of the psychiatric team was visiting Mr Molyneaux twice a week but he had requested the visits to be reduced to once a week.

”Towards the end, we started seeing him almost daily. He had a good relationship with his family and he would get help with cooking meals and things.”

On 19th May he failed to attend an appointment at Bassetlaw Hospital, later saying he hadn’t gone because he felt ‘very low’ and had spent all day in bed.

”He used to have thoughts about feeling suicidal and having thoughts about not feeling how he did but he did want to get better.”

”He said that he wouldn’t kill himself because of the effect it would have on his family.”

At an appointment on 28th May, he was prescribed a new form of anti-depressant as he felt the tablets he was taking had no effect.

”I explained to him how to take the tablets and that we would start out on a small dose,” she said.

Dr Mohammed Eid, who has 31 years experience as a doctor, was the consultant psychiatrist who met regularly with Mr Molyneaux.

He explained that he had suffered from a period of severe depression back in 1998 and an episode of hypomania in 2006.

”John was a very independent and proud man. He never accepted that he had a mental illness and was a sergeant in the army,” he said.

He added: ”I don’t think that we could offer better service than we have done. The death of John was devastating to me and it was a shock.”

When questioned by Paul Molyneaux – John’s brother – about the care and support he was given, he said: ”Autonomy and empowerment are crucial in recovery of patients and we had to give him autonomy.”

The coroner concluded: ”We know from the post-mortem that the cause of death was an overdose of amitriptyline and Co-proxamol.”

”We know from the police that there were no suspicious circumstances. There must be suspicion of suicide and that John took his own life.”

”However, the evidence doesn’t satisfy burden of proof and I have to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt.”

He added: ”It is inevitably the case when people take an overdose that one can never know what is in their mind at the time.”