A desperate father scrawled ‘God bless’ on a scrap of newspaper before drowning himself, an inquest heard.
David Hudson, 77, was found floating in the Calder and Hebble Navigation, at Slaithwaite Road Bridge, Thornhill, Dewsbury, early on March 23.
A few hours before Mr Hudson had been wandering the streets intending to walk in front of a vehicle to ‘end it’, an inquest heard yesterday.
Bradford Coroners Court was told that Mr Hudson had struggled with alcohol since being evicted from the home he and his wife shared.
He had cut his throat and wrist with scissors and on another occasion had taken his week’s medication in one go.
The dad-of-two had since moved into sheltered accommodation on Walker Street, Thornhill Lees, where he had been a ‘sociable’ and ‘liked’ resident.
But his mental health rapidly deteriorated in the months leading up to his death, the inquest heard.
The retired engineer and security guard tidied his room and wrote ‘God bless’ in ‘extremely shaky handwriting’ on a piece of newspaper before leaving the sheltered complex.
He was discovered by a cyclist at around 7.40am on March 23.
An ambulance crew tried to resuscitate Mr Hudson but he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.
Jeanette West, who managed the sheltered accommodation complex, said she had been really upset to learn about Mr Hudson’s death.
But in a statement read at the inquest Ms West said she had anticipated it was going to happen.
West Yorkshire Coroner Oliver Longstaff concluded that Mr Hudson has intended to take his life.
Mr Longstaff said: “He remained in possession of his faculties and was able to make his own decisions.”
The coroner added that while there wasn’t a single factor to show Mr Hudson’s intentions there was other evidence to show he had intended to end his life.
Mr Longstaff concluded: “The appropriate conclusion is that Mr David Hudson intended to take his own life.”
Helplines and websites
If you’re struggling to cope with mental health issues here are some of the ways you can access help.
Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at email@example.com.
Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.
PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
Depression Alliance is a charity for people with depression. It doesn’t have a helpline, but offers a wide range of useful resources and links to other relevant information. http://www.depressionalliance.org/
Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts. Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying. http://studentsagainstdepression.org/