Suicide verdict for former lecturer

A university lecturer killed himself after the "demons" of ME and long-term depression became too much to bear.

Michael Davis, 43, was found in the bath with both wrists slashed at his home in Lewis Road, Radford Semele.

He left a suicide note on a table for his cousin, Meg, explaining that he could no longer face long-term clinical depression coupled with the worsening effects of of the cruel debilitating condition on his body.

Her husband, Nicholas Lindley, told an inquest on July 13: "Michael had a very hard emotional upbringing coupled with problems at school. He was a very intelligent man completely engrossed in his literary work."

Mr Lindley, of Rugely, Staffordshire, said that Mr Davis had no contact with any other family members as both his parents were dead. His mother died when he was still young followed by his father, a coal pit worker who was hit by a lorry in what was "widely believed" to be suicide.

Mr Davis, who was gay, was also "devastated" when his boyfriend took his own life two years ago, Mr Lindley said.

Warwickshire County Council mental health social worker Peter Tarleton, of Radford Road, Leamington, and a colleague found Mr Davis's body when they called at his house on March 7 after he failed to attend an appointment.

Mr Tarleton said: "There were long-term issues with him. I know he saw private psychotherapists for over ten years. He had a number of issues around his sexuality and his body image and I know he undertook therapy to address those.

"He presented to us as being quite depressed and we offered him admission to hospital on four occasions."

But Mr Davis, who did not meet the criteria to be sectioned, declined and chose instead to stay at the county council's Crisis House centre in February.

His left after his condition apparently improved but was still receiving treatment before he died.

A post-mortem carried out at Warwick Hospital showed the most significant factor in his death to be the lacerations to both wrists.

A number of anti-depressant drugs were present in his system along with alchohol, which in combination could have had a sedative effect.

Warwickshire coroner Michael Coker recorded a verdict of suicide while the balance of the mind was disturbed.

Offering his sympathies to Mr and Mrs Lindley, he said: "Perhaps these demons which have been chasing him have now come off his shoulder."