Inquest finds man hanged himself

A VERDICT of suicide has been recorded on a Newton Poppleford man.

George Christopher Bargh, 55, of Milestone Bed and Breakfast, High Street, was found hanged in the garage of his home on February 23, the inquest at County Hall heard on Tuesday.

Coroner Dr Elizabeth Earland referred to statements from his GP Dr Franklin, stepdaughter Bridget Ross, and Macmillan nurse Joanne Skelton.

Mr Bargh’s wife, Pauline, had been diagnosed with terminal cancer in December 2009. While he had coped quite well initially, this had deteriorated.

Dr Franklin said they had discussed the importance of sleep and he had offered him anti-depressants. A fellow GP found Mr Bargh “low and withdrawn”.

Mr Bargh felt the hospital wasn’t doing enough for his wife. Dr Franklin spent about an hour with him on February 22.

On February 23, Mrs Ross and her brother called to take Mrs Bargh to hospital, and Mr Bargh was given the option of staying behind.

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“He hated going to hospital,” she said. “We left around 8.30am and as the Macmillan nurse was going to see him at midday, I wasn’t concerned.”

Later, the police arrived at the hospital with her brother to tell her Mr Bargh had been found. Although he had told her “I’ve failed her (Pauline), I way as well go and hang myself”, she hadn’t thought he was serious about doing anything.

Nurse Skelton had visited on February 22, finding him “monosyllabic and unable to express what he was feeling.”

She spoke to him at 9am the following day, confirming she’d call around later. “He seemed a bit brighter,” she said.

When she arrived at 11.45am, Mr Bargh was not in the house, so she went out to the garage, and found him hanged.

Dr Earland said he had used a blue rope, which matched the ligature marks around his neck. She was satisfied he had hanged himself between 8.30am and midday.