Man's overdose may have been a cry for help

A MORLEY man may have survived a suicide attempt had his mobile phone not run out of credit and so prevented him phoning for help, an inquest heard.

A verdict of death by misadventure was recorded after the coroner's court heard Stephen Briggs, had taken overdoses before but he had always then phoned relatives for help.

A friend, Phillip Weston, who had become concerned after not hearing from him for several days, found the 43-year-old dead at his Romford Avenue home on June 3.

A post mortem found he had died of poisoning from a mixture of alcohol and drugs he had been prescribed for his depression.

The unemployed divorcee had a long history of depression for which he had been receiving psychiatric help at the East Ardsley Health Centre.

The court was told he had often threatened to kill himself and had attempted suicide four times before, but that each time he had phoned relatives or a note had been found and action taken to save him.

A suicide note found at Mr Briggs's house when his body was found had been written a couple of weeks previously and had been used in a previous suicide attempt.

Coroner David Hinchliff Said: "I think that in the past he has done things like this before and has always been found, but he has always telephoned relatives and they have been able to come to his assistance.

"I think that on this occasion it was the same pattern but his phone had no credit on it and ordinarily he may have made those calls but could not."

He added that because of the circumstances he would not say that Mr Briggs had taken his life deliberately because although he had taken an overdose it could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt that he had wished to kill himself.

Mr Hinchliff said Mr Briggs's final overdose may have been no more than another cry for help.