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Inquest hears how Downham Market man took his own life after battling mental ill-health

PUBLISHED: 16:11 22 June 2018 | UPDATED: 16:11 22 June 2018

King's Lynn Coroner's Court. Picture: Ian Burt

King's Lynn Coroner's Court. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2011

A man found hanging in a driveway had battled mental illness, an inquest heard.

Sam Sandish, 34, was found hanging by his partner Laura Pattle at her home address in Bennett Street, Downham Market, on January 7.

He died four days later at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn where his family made the decision to donate his organs.

In an inquest at King’s Lynn Coroner’s Court today, Ms Pattle said in her statement that Mr Sandish had spoken of taking his own life on multiple occasions in the past.

On January 7, Ms Pattle had returned home after spending the day with her family at around 7.30pm.

She said that she and Mr Sandish had argued over whether he had been drinking, but hours later she found him hanging and screamed for help.

The ambulance and police arrived and took Mr Sandish to the QEH, but he did not regain consciousness and died on January 11.

Dr Andrew Sherwood, from the St James Medical Practice in Lynn, said Mr Sandish had suffered depression and had a history of alcohol and drug abuse but that he was clean in the later years of his life.

He said in February 2017, Mr Sandish spoke of his mental health not being good and that he was seeking help from the Norfolk Recovery Partnership.

In November 2017, Mr Sandish attended A&E where he threatened to harm himself and take his own life but left before being treated.

Senior coroner Jacqueline Lake said Mr Sandish had written a letter but that it was dated many months before his death.

She said he had given no indication that he was intending to end his own life at the time of his death, adding: “He may have expected to be found as he has been on previous occasions.”

Ms Lake recorded a short narrative conclusion that Mr Sandish hanged himself.

She gave her condolences to Mr Sandish’s family and thanked them for opting to donate his organs.

Mr Sandish’s stepfather Richard Tomkins, who had attended the inquest, said: “He was a troubled soul, it was inevitable it would happen. To watch him die over four days was difficult.”

The Samaritans are available to talk 24/7 by calling 116 123.

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