A 44-YEAR-OLD man killed himself after suspecting he was suffering from the early stages of motor neurone disease, an inquest has heard.
Richard Mason was found dead at his home in South Oak Street, Burton, by his wife after she returned from a meal celebrating the completion of her son’s second year of university.
Tests showed Mr Mason, an IT analyst for Derby-based Rolls-Royce, had died from an overdose of blood pressure tablets and alcohol.
Margaret Jones, deputy coroner for South Staffordshire, said during the inquest: “Mr Mason had really reached rock bottom and had decided to take his own life. He died of a deliberate act initiated by himself that ended his life.”
Mr Mason was due to see a consultant doctor two weeks after his death to discuss possible neurological symptoms in his feet. His wife of 21 years, Leisa, said he believed he may be suffering from motor neurone disease.
Mr Mason was last seen alive by his wife, a teaching assistant, at 3.50pm on July 12 last year. Mrs Mason then went to Chester to collect her son before going out for a meal. She returned home at 11.30pm.
Mrs Mason told the inquest in a statement: “I had a feeling something was wrong. I put the light on and he was grey and his face was cold.”
The inquest heard Mr Mason left no suicide note and had never previously threatened or attempted to kill himself.
He was frequently found unconscious after drinking heavily.
Mr Mason fell down the stairs at his home in April 2011 and suffered major head trauma. He required 70 internal and external stitches. Mrs Mason’s statement said the head injury ‘changed his personality’.
The coroner, who recorded a verdict of suicide, said the levels of medication found in Mr Mason’s bloodstream were ‘consistent with an overdose’ and would have had ‘toxic effects’.
Mr Mason’s chances of survival were reduced by underlying heart and liver defects, the inquest heard.