A BINGE drinker who went cold turkey on New Year's Eve died after taking an overdose of anti-depressants.
An inquest yesterday heard how Henry Evans was a heavy drinker who often spent months indulging in binge drinking sessions.
But the 51-year-old also quit drinking for significant periods to allow his body to recover.
On most occasions the former Westoe Colliery miner would wean himself off the booze gradually.
However, on December 31 last year he took the unusual decision to quit suddenly.
It led him to hallucinate, and in a series of telephone calls to his niece he talked of taking an overdose.
His niece called out an emergency doctor but Mr Evans refused to let the medic into his home in Beattie Street, South Shields, the inquest heard. Then, on January 2, neighbours became alarmed when they found his front door open.
Mr Evans was discovered lying face down on a bed upstairs. He was later pronounced dead in hospital.
At the time of his death, Mr Evans had not worked for more than a decade, after the closure of Westoe Colliery.
In the mid-90s he was treated for depression after losing his job and the breakdown of a long-term relationship.
South Tyneside Coroner Terence Carney said: “On December 31 he decided to come off drink in a different way than he had in the past.
“He came off suddenly and this caused him to become confused and to hallucinate.
“I am not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that when taking the drugs it was his intention to kill himself.”
Verdict: accidental death.
MORE than 100 dogs were chipped in a joint initiative by police and the RSPCA.
The Cock Crow Inn at Hebburn was the venue for the event, which attracted people from all over the borough with dogs of all shapes and sizes.
Organised by officers from Gateshead area command, the event was supported by police community support officers (PCSOs) from South Tyneside and offered free chipping and neutering to all.
Two further events are being held at Felling Square car park, from 3pm to 7pm next Thursday, and at Brandling Community Centre car park, also in Felling, between the same times the next day.
PCSO Fintan Fitzpatrick said: “The response from the public was first class.
“Owners were able to have their dogs identity-chipped free of charge and also got free vouchers to have their dogs neutered.”
Wendy Richard from the RSPCA added: “This shows there are a good deal of responsible dog owners in the area.”
Microchips – no bigger than a grain of rice – are inserted into the scruff of the animal’s neck.
They have a unique number linked on the ‘Petlog’ national database to the owner’s name, address and telephone number.
A hand-held scanner carried by RSPCA officers can read the microchip if an animal is found lost or injured.