A SEVERELY epileptic man who overdosed on his medication had been researching assisted suicide, an inquest has heard.
Andrew McIntyre, 56, was found dead at his temporary address in Marine Parade, Eastbourne, on January 2, 2010, around three weeks after taking massive drug overdose.
An inquest into Mr McIntyre’s death was held at Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (May 19).
Coroner Alan Craze was told Mr McIntyre had suffered from depression and anxiety for many years and had a lengthy stay as an in-patient at a mental health unit in Chichester.
He discharged himself from the hospital against medical advice in November 2009 and moved to Eastbourne shortly afterwards.
He stayed in a holiday flat in Eastbourne for a few weeks and took his life on December 16.
His decomposed body, many empty pill packets and papers about assisted suicide were found by a contract cleaner who thought he had moved out of the flat.
Alan Craze was told Mr McIntyre has sought help at Eastbourne’s drop-in centre at the station and had been transferred to the area’s community mental health team.
Mental health professionals in Eastbourne saw McIntyre was on the books in Chichester and tried to get background information.
The information did not come through and Mr Craze said it was a ‘systematic failure’ but said he did not believe it contributed to his death.
Mr McIntyre was not assessed to be at high risk of suicide when he attended the drop-in clinic at Eastbourne Railway Station.
His wife of 25 years, Alanna McIntyre, who separated from him when he went to hospital as an inpatient said she sympathised with the doctors because he was good at hiding his true feelings.
Ms McIntyre, who now lives in Brighton, said, “I last saw him on December 11 and we were amicable and he came home and on the face of it, if someone saw him, he was normal but underneath I knew he wasn’t because I knew him so well.”
Mr Craze recorded a verdict of suicide while the balance of his mind was disturbed.
He said Mr McIntyre could not have taken that amount of pills by accident.
He added, “The balance of his mind was very clearly disturbed for a number of years.”