Family in tears as tragic pensioner’s 111 call over ‘absolute terror’ in Waterlooville probation hostel is played to inquest jury

DAUGHTERS of a pensioner found hanged days after taking a room at a probation-run hostel wept as an inquest heard a recording of a 111 call he made revealing his suicidal thoughts.

Wednesday, 24th April 2019, 5:48 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th April 2019, 5:58 pm
Pictured is Rebecca Wray outside Portsmouth Coroner's Court during the inquest into her father Anthony Walker's death. She is standing alongside her sisters Sarah Carro and Emma Harlow, and her mother Jennifer Walker. Picture: Ben Fishwick
Pictured is Rebecca Wray outside Portsmouth Coroner's Court during the inquest into her father Anthony Walker's death. She is standing alongside her sisters Sarah Carro and Emma Harlow, and her mother Jennifer Walker. Picture: Ben Fishwick

Anthony Walker, 66, was living at The Grange approved premises in Waterlooville after being released from jail for an assault on his wife.

Portsmouth Coroner’s Court heard how while in prison he was considered at risk of suicide. On November 16 he was found hanged in his room at the hostel, just 13 days after his release on November 3.

Jurors were told how Mr Walker, a keen gardener, had called 111 before being advised to go to A&E at Queen Alexandra Hospital after detailing his feelings.

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Pictured is Rebecca Wray outside Portsmouth Coroner's Court during the inquest into her father Anthony Walker's death. She is standing alongside her sisters Sarah Carro and Emma Harlow, and her mother Jennifer Walker. Picture: Ben Fishwick

‘I woke up yesterday feeling a little bit suicidal and this morning, I have been waking up in absolute terror of self-harm,’ he said in the November 11 call.

His daughters Rebecca Wray and Sarah Carro wept in the inquest as the call was played. The call taker told a member of hostel staff she advised Mr Walker to go to hospital within an hour of the call.

Jurors earlier heard that some staff did not know Mr Walker was ‘at risk of suicide’ despite it being in his notes after being released from jail.

Staff member Darren Bone, who inducted Mr Walker to the hostel, said the pensioner gave no indication he would carry out a suicide.

An inquest jury is hearing details of the death of 66-year-old Anthony Walker

Barrister Andrew Deakin, for the family, said the record was clear that ‘before he came to The Grange that because he couldn’t see his wife he was at risk of suicide’.

Another record said he had ‘poor emotional control, threatening self harm or suicide, he could therefore be monitored closely in custody and approved premises environment,’ Mr Deakin added.

Jurors previously heard from staff at The Grange who were ‘not aware of this document,’ Mr Deakin said.

He added: ‘There was no doubt that before Anthony Walker came to The Grange his risk of suicide and self harm was clearly identified and he’d been sent to The Grange in part so that it could be closely monitored.’

Mr Bone, who worked one-on-one with Mr Walker, said: ‘He was very clear about the fact that he was low because he was staying at The Grange and that was the only reason. He himself on the day said he wasn’t feeling suicidal.’

He added: ‘At that time it didn’t feel as if that was not the truth.’

Earlier paramedic Lee Mude told the jury Mr Walker would have been dead for hours, not minutes before he was found at 9.32am.

Asked by Mr Deakin if there would have been a different outcome had staff at the hostel cut him down or performed CPR, Mr Mude said: ‘I don’t think it would have.’

Pathologist Dr David Cowlishaw agreed about the married Isle of Wight man’s death and added: ‘In my experience I would agree with his experience. It would be a matter of hours rather than minutes.’

(Proceeding)