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Sleep problems contributed to Downham man's death, inquest told

By Lynn News Reporter

A Downham man had endured weeks of sleep deprivation which contributed to his death, a coroner has concluded.

Russell John Houghton, who was 47, was found dead in Crimplesham on the afternoon of June 30 this year.

An inquest, held in Lynn today, was told he died from gunshot wounds and had taken his own life.

The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane. (7872619)
The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane. (7872619)

But area coroner Yvonne Blake said she could not record a verdict of suicide because he was unable to form the necessary rational intent following around two months of sleep deprivation leading up to his death.

The court was told that Mr Houghton, a car valet worker and former county clay pigeon shooting champion, had been “exhausted” by his work and became more nervous as his sleep problems continued.

Although he was prescribed medication, there was a delay before he could take it as it was feared that it may worsen his existing glaucoma condition.

The court heard a note found after Mr Houghton left his home on the day of his death suggested he felt he had let his family down and was “embarrassed”.

However, neither his family nor his GP believed he intended to harm himself in the period leading up to his death.

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