Snettisham pensioner hanged himself in shed

A PENSIONER whose depression was aggravated by his inability to help his disabled wife was found hanged in his garden shed, an inquest heard.

The body of Alfred Jolly (79), known as Jim, was found by care worker Sharon Hubbard on March 15 after his wife Beryl called him in for lunch but received no reply.

Mrs Hubbard was making a regular visit to the couple's home in Snettisham, where she had been caring for Mrs Jolly, and opened the shed door to find Mr Jolly's body hanging from the rafters.

An inquest at Lynn County Court on Monday heard he had suffered badly with depression in recent years and had received regular treatment for the condition at Lynn's Chatterton House, a facility offering support to elderly people with mental health problems.

Community mental health nurse Hilary Lynn told the hearing Mr Jolly was referred to Chatterton House by his GP in June 2006.

She said there were periods when he felt quite well and motivated but he attempted to take his own life in December 2006 and also spoke of being frustrated at his inability to help his wife with her disability.

The day before his death Mrs Lynn had spoken to Mr Jolly about a change in medication but his mood was low and she said he was not happy with life, however, he did not express any suicidal thoughts.

There was also a discussion about him being readmitted to Chatterton House but he refused.

Dr Kurma Rao, consultant psychiatrist at Chatterton House, said Mr Jolly suffered with a severe psychotic-type depression and throughout his treatment his thoughts were always with his wife.

He added: "He always wanted to please Beryl, his wife.

"He wanted to be at home and was worried about how she was coping.

"His main objective was to be at home, looking after his wife."

Neighbour Rebecca Smith told the hearing she saw a dramatic decline in Mr Jolly, who was "fit, strong and full of fun" when they first met, and believed his condition may have been exacerbated by the medication he had taken.

Greater Norfolk Coroner Mr William Armstrong said: "Up until August 2006 he was leading a very satisfactory life, looking after Beryl as best he could but things deteriorated over the course of the next few months.

"The reasons were linked to his depressive illness which appears resistant to treatment.

"His depression was aggravated by the fact he could not do all the things he wanted to help Beryl."

Mr Armstrong recorded a verdict of suicide while suffering with a severe depressive illness.