Hanged Sidbury man had denied suicide thoughts

PUBLISHED: 18:19 02 October 2009 | UPDATED: 10:34 18 June 2010

A SIDBURY father hung himself with dressing gown chords days after he told NHS staff he was not suicidal, an inquest heard on Tuesday. Civil servant Charles Gray, 48, was found dead by his wife, hanging from a banister at their Manor Stables home on

A SIDBURY father hung himself with dressing gown chords days after he told NHS staff he was not suicidal, an inquest heard on Tuesday.

Civil servant Charles Gray, 48, was found dead by his wife, hanging from a banister at their Manor Stables home on December 29 last year.

The inquest, sitting in Exeter, heard how Mr Gray, who had a history of depression, had been described as "fed up" and "tearful" by his GP prior to his death.

Coroner, Dr Elizabeth Earland read evidence which described how Mr Gray had seen his doctor on December 22, and his concerned wife had contacted NHS Direct on December 27, when he was referred to the service's Crisis Resolution Team.

Following an assessment NHS records claimed that Mr Gray was "ambivalent" about treatment and felt he could "sort things out" if he "went away alone".

Crisis Resolution Team (CRT) notes described how Mr Gray considered the possibility of taking anti-depressants, and was given self-help material, but "vehemently denied having suicidal thoughts" and was not considered a risk.

Two days later Mr Gray's wife arrived home from work to discover he had entwined the chords from his and her dressing gowns, and hung himself from a staircase banister in their home. Paramedics and police arrived on the scene shortly after and Mr Gray was pronounced dead. A knocked-over chair was found near his body and Mr Gray had left a written note for his wife.

A CRT review said that while Mr Grey was "clearly depressed" for some time, he had denied considering suicide, had no problems with alcohol, continued in his job, and was prepared to work with the service.

It added CRT workers were "optimistic" about a "positive resolution" to Mr Grey's difficulties.

In her verdict, Dr Earland described Mr Grey's death as "tragic". She agreed with pathologists that his cause of death was hanging and he had intended to kill himself.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Sidmouth Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Sidmouth Herald