‘Kind and generous’ Horam husband took his own life

A man convinced he had terminal health problems was found dead by his wife, an Eastbourne inquest heard on Thursday (November 7).

Friday, 8th November 2019, 3:16 pm

Richard Dunn, 69, suffered a series of ailments which caused him chronic pain and anxiety and eventually led to him taking his own life on April 17.

His wife Kim said in a statement, “He was a lovely man. Kind and generous. He is much missed.

“Richard complained of IBS and abdominal pain. He convinced himself he was suffering with a terminal condition.”

The inquest was held at Eastbourne Town Hall (Photo by Jon Rigby)

Mrs Dunn told the inquest the results of a colonoscopy on April 8 ‘completely threw’ her husband, of Paynsbridge Way, Horam.

She said, “Richard then wanted to believe the problem was more psychological than medical. Richard said he felt suicidal. The crisis team visited our home that day, they made the assessment he would be fine at home.”

Mrs Dunn said the day before her husband’s death he said he was ‘concerned he was becoming incompetent’.

She told the inquest her husband’s personality had changed, that he previously had a lot of friends and was ‘very sociable’ but he started to cancel plans and would not take phone calls.

On the day of his death, she had gone out to meet some friends. On her return home she found her husband dead.

Dr Sarah-Jane Parker, a liaison psychiatry practitioner, saw Mr and Mrs Dunn for a mental health assessment in the weeks leading up to his death.

She said, “Mr Dunn said his depression and anxiety was getting worse. He had a strong sense of feeling a burden, hopeless and useless. Mrs Dunn was extremely supportive to her husband.”

The psychiatrist said a test showed Mr Dunn was severely depressed.

Mr and Mrs Dunn had an assessment with Dr Vijitha Wickramasinghe from the crisis team on April 9.

The doctor said, “He was very anxious. He was expecting bad results from a colonoscopy, he was expecting cancer.

“I offered him crisis intervention. The plan was he would be closely supported at home by his wife.”

A post mortem found he had injuries consisted with hanging. The coroner recorded a conclusion of suicide.

• If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, the Samaritans may be able to help – the charity’s helpline number is 116 123.