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Monday, 14 July 2014

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Terminally-ill Cumbrian man carried out threat to take his life

A terminally-ill west Cumbria pensioner carried through his threat to take his own life, an inquest has ruled.

Derek Hodgson was found unconscious by his wife, Marjorie, in their home at Church Close, Distington, on November 30 last year.

Paramedics arrived on the scene, but failed to resuscitate Mr Hodgson, 73, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. A post-mortem revealed the cause of death to be hanging, and coroner David Roberts ruled that Mr Hodgson had taken his own life.

A healthy man throughout his life, Mr Hodgson became unwell shortly after he retired, aged 70, from his job as a cement mixer driver. He was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and his health deteriorated rapidly which caused him to suffer from low mood.

Mr Hodgson had made various comments expressing a desire to end his life, the coroner was told, and on one previous occasion a noose he had formed was found in his house.

However, Mrs Hodgson told the inquest that, on the day her husband died, she did not believe he had intended to kill himself.

“I think it was a gesture and he has not meant to do what he did,” she said. “This is what he wanted, however, and it pleases me that he is no longer suffering.”

Mr Roberts concluded: “He was terminally ill and his quality of life had reduced substantially. It’s clear that he was unhappy with the state of his life due to his ill health, and the fact that he carried out the deliberate acts that led to his death indicate that he was fully aware what he was doing.”

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