Factory worker died after calling out-of-hours GP service

PUBLISHED: 17:51 07 August 2019 | UPDATED: 19:22 07 August 2019

Norfolk Coroner's Court. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norfolk Coroner's Court. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

A former prisoner with a history of mental health problems spoke with an out-of-hours GP one day before his death, an inquest has heard.

Craig Barnes, 29, of Station Road, Thetford, was found dead in the town on May 7, 2018.

An inquest held at Norwich Coroner's Court on August 7 heard the cause of death was loss of blood due to a stab wound to the heart.

There were several stab wounds discovered on the body of Mr Barnes but no defensive injuries, according to the post mortem report.

Blood and urine tests also revealed he had high therapeutic levels of painkillers and opioids, as well as traces of cannabis.

No members of Mr Barnes' family were at the inquest.

The inquest heard how he suffered with pain, including constipation, and he called the 111 out of hours GP service on May 5 and 6 because of that issue.

He saw Dr Nicholas Hazel in person on May 6 after being triaged by another health professional the day before over the phone.

When questioned during the inquest by senior coroner Jacqueline Lake, regarding how he dealt with Mr Barnes' mental health issues, Dr Hazel said: "He presented with concerns about his abdominal pain and constipation. He denied suicidal thoughts. No red flags were raised."

It was heard that Mr Barnes had previously spent four years in prison at Chelmsford and Wayland prisons after being involved in an accident while driving a stolen car.

At the time of his death the 29-year-old was working as a process operative at CamdenBoss Ltd in Mildenhall, which makes electro-mechanical components.

A written statement from his work colleague and friend Dajana Krol, said: "Craig didn't have any family in the area. His mother didn't really care about him. He was kind and good fun."

She said he initially did not show any signs of mental health problems when she first got to know him in January 2017 but later that year she made him speak to his GP at Grove Surgery in Thetford because of his low mood and periods of paranoia.

In a written statement, Dr Rachel Edwards, who assessed Mr Barnes in July 2017 at Grove Surgery, said he was "tearful" but "denied planning to harm himself".

The inquest continues.

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