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Father took own life after treatment he craved was denied

John Garvey

john.garvey@newburynews.co.uk

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Peter Wright
A BUSINESSMAN carried out his threat to kill himself with a knife to his heart after being refused hospital admission for depression, an inquest heard last Wednesday, November 7. Forty-five-year-old father of two Peter James Wright had been tormented by the collapse of his marriage and financial problems at his Theale-based Environmental Pumping Solutions Ltd., the hearing in Newbury was told. His body was discovered by his estranged wife Mel on June 25 this year at his home in Kennedy Meadow, Hungerford. His sister, Rebecca Sandells, told Berkshire coroner Peter Bedford of the family’s belief that his desperate cry for help had not been properly dealt with. She said: “He was very specific. He mentioned to them the knife and how he was going to use it.” His one hope, she said, was that a spell in hospital would give him some breathing space to deal with his issues. But, she added, there had been no bed available and doctors had assured him that he would be unable to sleep in hospital and had insisted on home treatment instead. Mrs Sandells said: “Peter was devastated.” For some weeks, Mr Wright, a patient at Ramsbury Surgery, engaged with North Wiltshire Mental Health Services, the inquest heard. But he finally made good on his threat, plunging a huge hunting knife into his chest in his bedroom. North Wiltshire Mental Health Services team manager Nik Munien said that it was considered that Mr Wright had presented to them with “mild to moderate depression” and that the “triggers” for his stresses and strains would have still been there when he left hospital had he been admitted. He added that, had it been decided that Mr Wright needed to be admitted to hospital, a bed would have been found. In fact, the hearing was told, the crisis team had discharged him into the care of the mental health team. Ruling that Mr Wright had taken his own life while suffering from depressive symptoms, Mr Bedford added: “He requested hospital admission describing suicidal thoughts and plans. After assesment it was concluded that that wouldn’t be in his best interests and he was provided with daily support from the mental health team.” He said that the fact that Mr Wright had not taken his life immediately after being refused hospital admission tended to support the doctors’ assesment that he did not present an immediate suicide risk. Paying tribute, his wife said: “He was a truly special person – bubbly, outgoing and always the joker. He will be greatly missed by Josh and Jessie, he was an amazing daddy and a true entrepreneur.”        

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