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Former Worthing councillor overdosed on antidepressants
3:00pm Tuesday 25th September 2012 in News
An alcoholic former Worthing councillor stockpiled anti-depressants to kill himself.
Mark McCarthy, 40, who had a history of suicide attempts, built up a stock of his medication before downing it, an inquest was told.
The hearing in Chichester was told the former Worthing borough councillor and stockbroker left a note for his elderly mother which contained the line “O/D should work”.
Mr McCarthy, of Offington Drive, Worthing, had battled with alcohol addiction and depression for many years.
In August last year his condition worsened and he visited his doctor, Karen Patel, at Lime Tree Surgery in Worthing who prescribed him anti-depressants.
He later became worse and when Dr Patel was off ill, Mr McCarthy ended up in accident and emergency on November 19 following an overdose.
Hospital staff sent a letter to Lime Tree Surgery to warn doctors but it didn’t arrive until five days later, by which time Mr McCarthy had ordered a repeat prescription of pills followed by a further batch a few days |later.
Mr McCarthy’s mother, Jean, who he was living with at the time, described her son as having “so much to look forward to” shortly before his death.
On the evening of December 15 she went to bed early to rest for an operation the following day.
After returning from hospital on the afternoon of December 16 she became concerned that her son couldn’t be found and that his bedroom door was locked.
She called for help and police found his body slumped on the bed. Empty packs of pills were by his side and a hand-written note was addressed to his mother.
West Sussex Coroner Penelope Schofield recorded a verdict that Mr McCarthy took his own life.
She also ordered that Lime Tree Surgery look at the way it deals with repeat prescriptions and messages from outside agencies.
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