Suicide tragedy in Garden

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A MAN killed himself as his wife slept upstairs – after mental health professionals said he was not suicidal, an inquest has heard.

Robert Pilbrough, 55, of Burton Drive, in Needham Market, died at Ipswich Hospital on February 1.

Emergency services were called to Mr Pilbrough’s home at 9am after his wife, Shirley, went downstairs and found him in the garden covered in blood.

Police cordoned off the area and the ambulance service took him to hospital where he later died. A post-mortem examination revealed that he died from a traumatic injury to the heart muscle, chest injuries and bilateral lung collapse.

Mrs Pilbrough said her husband, an executive car salesman at Gammers Ford, in Stowmarket, had been withdrawn and quiet and had been struggling with work pressures. She said he had expressed feelings of self-harming and thoughts of cutting himself.

The inquest heard that Mrs Pilbrough took him to see a GP who medicated him, but that he had not been keen on taking the medication and over the weekend before Feburary 1 he had gone into the garden with a knife and had feelings of cutting himself.

She took him to see another doctor and someone from a crisis team. A mental health assessment determined that although he was depressed, he was not suicidal. It was also noted that Mr Pilbrough loved his wife and was very well supported.

A report by a primary care worker who worked with Mr Pilbrough said he appeared tired, stressed and was experiencing depressive illness. It added that a referral had been made.

Dr Peter Dean, Suffolk coroner, said: “Clearly they felt there had been a crisis but at that time, in the way that things were presented, that initial danger of self-harm had gone. He was complying and agreeing with what had been decided.”

Dr Dean recorded a verdict of suicide at the inquest on Wednesday, at Ip-City Centre, in Ipswich.

Dr Dean said: “Professionals that had dealt with him did not feel that there was an ongoing risk. There was no sense of current suicidal intent.

“On that morning he did inflict the injuries on himself. It does appear that he intended significant harm on himself and understood what he was doing at that time.”

Dr Dean offered his condolences to Mr Pilbrough’s family and friends.