A MAN who cut his throat after telling police he was hearing voices had financial problems after recently losing his job as a lorry driver.
David Young had incidents of mental health difficulty in the past, but also had years of ‘good functioning’, an inquest into his death heard.
Mr Young, 34, slit his throat in front of his parents in their home in Fennel Grove, South Shields, shortly after being released from the town’s police station in July, 2012.
The release was sanctioned by force medical examiner Dr Paul Nellist following a four-minute examination.
The inquest at Gateshead Civic Centre heard Mr Young used amphetamine which could cause him to show symptoms of psychosis, such as hearing voices, or fearing people were out to get him.
His mother Ann said her son always liked his own company and took jobs which kept him away from people, such as lorry driving and kitchen work.
For about four years from 2003 he rarely left the house, preferring to stay in his bedroom building model aeroplanes.
Mr Young’s fortunes improved when he got a job as a delivery driver, and secured his own place to live in Dene Mews, Castletown, Sunderland.
He moved back in with his parents after losing his job and licence for drug-taking in 2012.
Dr Michael Shaw, a psychiatrist who reviewed Mr Young’s file, told the hearing: “There is no evidence to support him having an undiagnosed psychosis, based on the chronology.
“There was a brief incident in 2003 due to amphetamine use.
“That was followed by a sustained period of years of good functioning, including holding an HGV class two licence for which there are strict mental health and drug requirements.
“The subsequent episode in 2012 was brief, under 24 hours, and consistent with it being amphetamine-induced.”
Dr Shaw said an amphetamine user would often show ‘psychotic-like symptoms’ while taking the drug, but would not show those symptoms when not taking it.
One of the inquest’s jurors asked Dr Shaw if the four minutes taken by Dr Nellist to examine Mr Young in the police station was long enough.
“That is very difficult to answer,” replied Dr Shaw. “But on the information received, I support the conclusions which were drawn.”
The inquest heard Mr Young spent a short time in Cherry Knowle hospital in Ryhope, Sunderland, in March, 2012.
He was admitted with his own agreement after telling doctors that people were out to get him, and there was someone living in his loft.
Community Psychiatric Nurse Clare Robertson said she was unsure if Mr Young’s problems were drug-induced or underlying.
She and her colleagues assessed him as being at risk of self-harm, but at zero risk of suicide.
Nurse Robertson said Mr Young’s 14-year-old daughter and the support of his parents were regarded as significant stabilising factors in his life.
The jury is expected to retire to consider its findings early next week.
The hearing continues.