Aylsham father suffering from depression hanged himself days after death of close friend James “Smitty” Smith

Alan Morrison Alan Morrison

Friday, May 30, 2014
11:29 AM

A father who suffered from depression and back pain hanged himself days after the death of a close friend, an inquest heard.

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Police found the body of Alan Morrison, of Cawston Road in Aylsham, in woodland near Hevingham on February 5, 2014.

His father, David, told yesterday’s inquest at Norfolk Coroner’s Court that he was in “quite a state” when he last saw him on February 3.

He said: “A close friend in the same area had also died just a few days previously to that and he was very upset about this, as was [his partner] Tanya. They were both friends of this person.”

Aylsham DJ James “Smitty” Smith had been pronounced dead at his home on February 1.

The court heard that Mr Morrison had taken an overdose in spring 2013, although at a number of visits to his GP for back pain, sleeplessness and depression since then had not shown any signs of suicidal tendencies, and he had cited protective factors like his baby daughter and family.

In a written statement, Mr Morrison’s partner Tanya Chapman said the couple had gone to a clinic in Norwich on February 4 to seek treatment for their alcohol consumption, and later had a row about what to do that night.

She said that, in a number of phone calls later that day, he said he wanted to hang himself.

A post-mortem examination found that Mr Morrison died of asphyxia, and also had a number of drugs in his system.

Mr Morrison’s father told the inquest that Alan was a “very loving person” who loved his children and was a hard worker, and had a sense of humour.

He said: “He was a fun person. He also had more of a depressive side than I realised. We did not know he was in such trouble at the time. We knew things were going tough for him but we did not know to what extent.”

Recording a narrative verdict, coroner Jacqueline Lake said Mr Morrison hanged himself whilst the balance of his mind was disturbed, and said the medical evidence stated it was not possible to know what effect the drugs he had taken would have had on his mind.

If you need help, call the Samaritans on 08457 9090 90.

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