Depressed Sheffield father took his life during hospital leave

Craig Dore
Craig Dore

A DEPRESSED father-of-three leapt to his death from the M1 viaduct at Tinsley when he was allowed home visits from hospital just three days after an earlier suicide attempt, an inquest heard this week.

Craig Dore, aged 49, plunged 200ft from the motorway while he was supposed to be on two hours’ leave at his home in Totley Hall Mead, Totley.

Sheffield Coroner’s Court heard Mr Dore, a butcher, barricaded his wife Jillian into their downstairs toilet before escaping in his van and taking his own life.

Eight days earlier, he was granted home visits by a consultant psychiatrist at Nether Edge Hospital. The decision was made only three days after Mr Dore tried to hang himself in his garage.

His oldest daughter Javvina, aged 31, told the inquest she did not think her dad should have been allowed home so soon and the family had concerns for his safety.

She said: “My mum felt pressurised that she was having to go home for two hours a day at home with him, and felt like she couldn’t cope.”

She said she shared her concerns with hospital staff. “I explained I didn’t think it was a good decision, because 72 hours previously he tried to hang himself. I didn’t think that three days after his suicidal thoughts would have gone away.”

Mrs Dore described her husband as a ‘proud man and a good dad’ and said his mental health problems began in April 2010, when he became worried he had a serious illness.

“He’d always been a bit of a hypochondriac but not to the extent that he thought he was really ill. We were afraid of him hurting himself.”

He visited his GP complaining of muscle pains, but a rheumatologist could not find any cause for his symptoms.

Mr Dore was prescribed antidepressants and made his first suicide attempt on December 7. He left the house, took an overdose of tablets and left a note for his wife in his office, but returned.

Mrs Dore said: “He was saying ‘I can’t live with this muscle wasting disease that I’ve got’ - which he hadn’t got.”

Mr Dore tried to hang himself on December 18, and his wife found him unconscious on the garage floor

But Mr Dore got up before the ambulance arrived and drove off in his van. He was arrested in Skegness, Lincolnshire, and found carrying a large knife.

Mrs Dore said he was sectioned the same day and transferred to Nether Edge shortly afterwards, but a consultant granted him home leave on December 21.

She said: “I didn’t want him to come home, I thought he would harm himself, and me as well. ”

Mr Dore’s home leave was increased to eight hours on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, but on December 29 he told Mrs Dore he was ‘never going back’ to Nether Edge Hospital.

“He dragged me into the hallway and shut me in the toilet and locked the door,” she said. “When I got out I saw the van had gone.”

His van was spotted on the hard shoulder on the M1 viaduct at just after 2pm. His body was under the bridge.

The cause of death was multiple injuries.

The hospital consultant who granted the home visits told the inquest he wished he had spoken to Mrs Dore alone about her fears for his safety before making the decision.

Dr Abhijeeth Shetty, then a locum consultant psychiatrist at Nether Edge, said Mr Dore was assessed as being at ‘moderate to high risk’ of self-harm, but was given leave in order for him to keep up his exercise regime. “He didn’t come across as someone who was trying to hide information. It’s not my usual practice to give leave within two days of admission.”

Dr Shetty said he didn’t consult Mrs Dore separately, even though she had earlier expressed concerns that her husband wasn’t telling the truth. “I accept given what’s happened that we should have asked her separately - I wish I did.”

Mr Dore had been booked to see medics at 10.45am on the day of his death in December 2010, but he did not turn up. Staff agreed to wait until his home leave ended at 1pm.

“I should have rung his wife when I discovered he wasn’t on the ward,” said Dr Shetty.

The psychiatrist said he was ‘shocked’ when he discovered Mr Dore ‘hated’ being on the ward, and said he was unaware he had been attempting to hang himself in his room.

The inquest continues.