Man in river took own life

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk&world Update - By KEN MCERLAIN ken.mcerlain@pe­ter­bor­oughto­ @Etken­m­cer­lain

A GRAND­FA­THER whose body was found in the River Nene took his own life while suf­fer­ing from men­tal health prob­lems, an in­quest has ruled.

Barry Monk (65), who spent his fi­nal years help­ing the weak­est mem­bers of so­ci­ety, was found in the river near to Fen­gate on De­cem­ber 16 last year af­ter go­ing miss­ing from his shel­tered ac­com­mo­da­tion in Sut­ton Court, Wer­ring­ton.

Three days be­fore his death Mr Monk had been dis­charged from Peter­bor­ough City Hos­pi­tal af­ter tak­ing a parac­eta­mol over­dose fol­low­ing a pe­riod of de­pres­sion.

At an in­quest into Mr Monk’s death, held at Peter­bor­ough Town Hall yes­ter­day, his fam­ily said they were an­gry that he had been dis­charged within 72 hours.

Mr Monk’s daugh­ter, Emily Bar­ber, said that her fa­ther, who had made two other pre­vi­ous sui­cide at­tempts, should have been taken into long-term psy­chi­atric care.

How­ever, doc­tors who as­sessed Mr Monk said he dis­played no signs of be­ing a sui­cide risk pa­tient at the time.

Mrs Bar­ber said: “My fam­ily feels an­gry and sad by the poor treat­ment my dad re­ceived.

“We feel that he did not re­ceive proper care. The care that he did get was not thor­ough enough.

“Af­ter he was dis­charged no proper treat­ment plan was given to him ei­ther.

“My dad had pre­vi­ously worked as a psy­chi­atric nurse and de­served bet­ter.”

Dr Za­hoor Syed, a mem­ber of Peter­bor­ough City Hos­pi­tal’s psy­chi­atric team, said: “When I spoke to Barry Monk on De­cem­ber 13 he told me that he felt a lot bet­ter.

“He had no plans of sui­cide. He wanted to go home and he was dis­charged with the nec­es­sary sup­port be­ing in place. He was not a sui­cide risk.”

Coroner Gor­don Ryall gave a ver­dict of sui­cide while suf­fer­ing from men­tal health prob­lems.

He added: “It is not al­ways pos­si­ble for peo­ple deal­ing with pa­tients to know what is about to hap­pen.”

Mr Monk left a wife, Mon­ica, who he sep­a­rated from a year be­fore his death. He had one other daugh­ter and three grand chil­dren. He was also a fa­ther to Mon­ica Monk’s three chil­dren from a pre­vi­ous re­la­tion­ship.

Mr Monk stopped full-time work due to men­tal health is­sues in 1994, but still took on a num­ber of vol­un­tary posts with the Sal­va­tion Army, Mind, the Red Cross and Scope in Peter­bor­ough.

He was also a pa­tient gover­nor on the board of Cam­bridgeshire and Peter­bor­ough NHS Foun­da­tion Trust.

Af­ter his death tributes flooded in from his fam­ily and peo­ple who worked with him while he was vol­un­teer­ing.

Mrs Bar­ber said: “He will be greatly missed by his fam­ily, friends and ev­ery­one who knew him.

“My dad was a de­voted fa­ther, grand­fa­ther and hus­band. He en­joyed spending time with his fam­ily and watch­ing his grand­son James (10) play foot­ball.”

epic cy­cle: Chris Adams, of Adams Self-drive, which is pro­vid­ing a tran­sit van as a sup­port ve­hi­cle for free for Par­min­der Sum­mon, pic­tured, and Alan Bar­ber’s fundraiser. (METP-15-05-12DL514) Pic­ture: DAVID LOWNDES.

Sui­cide: Barry Monk

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