Man in river took own life
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