Portsmouth man looking forward to moving home found dead, inquest told

A YOUNG man looking forward to moving home died after over-medicating on medicine, an inquest heard.

Vincent McCaffrey’s death was ruled as accidental by a coroner who was told the 29-year-old was undergoing treatment for a personality disorder.

Portsmouth Coroner’s Court heard Mr McCaffrey was found dead at his home by police on September 10, 2016.

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Officers were called after his mother Susan Charlton could see his wallet on the windowsill at his home at Josephine Mews, New Road, Fratton, but got no answer when she knocked.

The court heard Mr McCaffrey had a history of overdosing, self-harming and over-medicating, but had no intention to die.

Findings from a pathologist’s post-mortem on Mr McCaffrey showed he died due to depression of his central nervous system, caused by the combination of various drugs in his system.

Coroner Mr Horsley said the deceased had taken too much dihydrocodeine, which combined with other medication had proved fatal.

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Returning an accidental conclusion, Mr Horsley said: ‘It wasn’t deliberate, it was unintentional.

‘It was part of a pattern of his illness that he couldn’t help himself, with no intention to die.

‘Therefore I’m going to conclude Vincent’s death was an accident.’

A GP’s report read out at the inquest told of a number of incidents of overdosing dating back to 2011.

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He had also suffered from alcohol-related pancreatitis, the report said.

Mr McCaffrey’s mother, Mr Charlton, learnt of much of the details of her son’s conditions only after his death.

Asked if he had talked about ending his life, Mrs Charlton said: ‘Never, no; and he used to say he’d put on an act.’

But after learning of the extent of his conditions, she said: ‘He always played it down to us, as though it was an act.’

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She told the inquest her son was ‘flamboyant’ and other relatives had described him as ‘happy as Larry’.

On September 2 – just days before his death – he had bought a TV and new vacuum cleaner and was looking forward to moving home.

Toni King, from Solent NHS Trust, told the inquest Mr McCaffrey had been undertaking dialectical behaviour therapy with her leading up to his death.

She said he would ‘binge eat’ and this caused him a lot of distress and would frequently self-harm.

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Ms King had been working with him to try and help him stop cutting himself, over-medicating, overdosing and binge eating.

‘He described his over-medicating taking the edge off anxiety,’ she said.

She added he also took illegally-purchased diazepam.

She said he would become anxious in public and took taxis to avoid going out.

Ms King wept as she told the inquest he missed an appointment and she later was informed he had died.

An incident review carried out by the health trust found no serious matters, the coroner said.

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