Woodbury man suicide: Inquest verdict

A SELF-confessed alcoholic from Woodbury killed himself after cutting his arm with a kitchen knife and taking medication, an inquest heard. Anthony Stephen Gerald Willie, of Cottles Lane, Woodbury, was found dead at home on January 2 this year. He was fou

A SELF-confessed alcoholic from Woodbury killed himself after cutting his arm with a kitchen knife and taking medication, an inquest heard.

Anthony Stephen Gerald Willie, of Cottles Lane, Woodbury, was found dead at home on January 2 this year. He was found by his landlord, slumped in bed and surrounded by a pool of blood.

An inquest held at Exeter County Hall last Monday, October 19, heard, after moving to Woodbury and attending a village doctors surgery, Mr Willie admitted to being an alcoholic.

Coroner, Dr Elizabeth Earland, told the court he then went to Wonford Hospital but a consultant said there were no suggestions he was suicidally depressed.


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Dr Earland said Mr Willie's landlord found him with a slit to his arm; there was blood on the floor and a kitchen knife on a bedroom table with blood marks on.

Mr Willie was a single, unemployed labourer.

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An inquest into his death was opened and adjourned on January 7 and a post-mortem report was carried out in the same month.

Dr Earland read out to the court a written statement from a police officer who attended the deceased's home on January 2 at 12.40pm.

It said the officer arrived at the property to find the front door open where a male indentified himself as the landlord.

She then moved to a bedroom and found a 'deceased male slumped on the bed with a pool of blood on the floor', medication in the room and a kitchen knife.

Police were satisfied there were no suspicious circumstances.

The court heard a statement in which Mr Willie's landlord said he was aware of the deceased having financial and drink problems.

Samples of blood were taken for toxicology tests and found a dangerous level of tramadol in his body.

Recording her verdict of suicide, Dr Earland said: "The decision I have to make is whether he intended the actions he took.

"I am satisfied by his actions that he did intend on killing himself."

Speaking after the inquest, Mr Willie's stepfather, David Graham said the death came as a shock. He added: "I was not aware of the problems he was having.

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