Family mystified by man's overdose death

THE FAMILY of a Wearside man who died after taking an overdose of anti-depressants are baffled by his death.

Thirty-four-year-old William Craggs was found at his home in Fellside Court, Albany, Washington, last year.

He was confirmed dead just after midnight on Monday, October 13.

Pathologist Dr Marie O'Donnell told an inquest at Sunderland Magistrates' Court that death had been the result of an overdose of amatriptylene, an anti-depressant Mr Craggs had been prescribed by his GP.

It was not possible to say exactly how many tablets he had swallowed, but 30 would have been a lethal dose, and he had taken more than that.

The drug would have slowed his breathing and heart rate.

"He would have been very drowsy and would not be aware of what was going on," said Dr O'Donnell.

The inquest heard that Mr Craggs had left no note outlining his intentions and had made no mention of being suicidal to his family.

His mother, Margaret, told the hearing that the family had been unable to find an explanation for what had happened.

"I just can't see why he has done it," she said.

"Nobody can convince me that he did it intentionally. He had everything to live for."

Recording an open verdict, Sunderland coroner Derek Winter said it was clear how Mr Craggs had died, but not why. It was impossible to be sure he had intended to kill himself.

"If I were to make a finding that he had taken his own life, I would have to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that that was what he intended to do," he said.

That was a "heavy burden to establish", said Mr Winter, and - in the absence of any note, indication of intent or history of previous suicide attempts - he could not do so.

"I don't know what happened," he added, "I can't be sure what he intended to do."

Verdict: Open