Ex-Ministry of Defence police sergeant from Gosport drowned himself after battling alcohol and money problems, inquest rules

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A FORMER Ministry of Defence police sergeant drowned himself after battling with alcohol and money problems.

Michael Davis died after wading into the sea off Hardway, Gosport after he had been drinking heavily.

Mr Davis has taken his own life, at a time of very great personal stress.

Portsmouth and south-east Hampshire coroner David Horsley

An inquest into his death heard how he told his wife Susan on June 4 this year he ‘had thought about going into the water and ending it all’.

Mrs Davis had begged him to reconsider – but the next evening he vanished from the house after spending most of the day at The Trafalgar pub in Gosport. His wife became concerned and raised the alarm after he failed to return shortly after midnight.

Emergency services stepped up their search after a packet of cigarettes, lighter and a pair of glasses were found near the pontoon down from The Jolly Roger, in Priory Road.

His body was found by a dog-walker on the shoreline at Wicor Mill Lane, in Portchester, shortly before 2.30pm the next day.

Mr Davis, of Godwit Close, Gosport, retired at 60 as a police sergeant on ‘limited duties’ after suffering a heart attack in 2003.

He was doing shifts at Gosport Conservative Club but was becoming more stressed with the amount of hours he was doing and the couple’s lack of money.

Mrs Davis told Portsmouth and south-east Hampshire coroner David Horsley: ‘His drinking was quite considerable the week before he died. He came from the club on the Saturday afternoon, had quite a bit to drink and said it was finished with the club and he had had enough.

‘He was finding it all too much. He was supposed to be doing two hours, five days a week, but he was working six days a week and five evenings, due to the financial difficulties.’

Detective Sergeant Mark Carter, the officer in charge of the case, said Mr Davis had taken his grandson out for food after a session at the pub the day he died and told him he loved him.

The inquest heard that was likely to be Mr Davis’ way of ‘saying goodbye’.

It was said he would have died instantly in the cold water due to the alcohol in his blood and his heart problems.

Mr Horsley concluded: ‘Mr Davis has taken his own life at a time of very great personal stress. He was under a lot of financial stress at the time.’