Mum’s horror as son cut his own throat with kitchen knife

IN CUSTODY ... David Young slit his own throat after being released from custody at South Shields police station.
IN CUSTODY ... David Young slit his own throat after being released from custody at South Shields police station.
Have your say

A MOTHER told an inquest of the horrifying moment her son slit his own throat in front of her at the family home in South Tyneside.

David Young had been taken to his parents’ house, in Fennell Grove, South Shields, after being released from police custody in the early hours of July 3, 2012.

He had been arrested and bailed on suspicion of driving while under the influence of drugs after driving to South Shields police station and asking for help with his drug problem.

Tests showed the 34-year-old father-of-one was under the influence of drugs and he was taken into custody before being taken to the home of his parents, Ann and Leslie Young.

An inquest, led by South Tyneside Coroner Terence Carney at Gateshead Civic Centre, heard that around 20 minutes after arriving at the house, Mr Young, of Dene Mews, Sunderland, cut his own throat with a kitchen knife in front of his parents who desperately tried to help him.

The inquest jury heard that Mr Young had a history of mental health issues and had started taking amphetamines when he was just 14 years old and Mr Carney said Mr Young, an HGV driver, had abstained from drug use from 2004 to 2011, but had then relapsed.

Mrs Young said she received a phone call at 4pm on July 2, 2012, to say her son had gone to the police station asking for help after being at her home earlier. He left while Mrs Young was making him a cup of coffee.

She was told that someone from health and social care organisation Turning Point was talking to him and asked if he could be brought to her home afterwards.

At about midnight, she called the station and was told that officers were going to get a doctor because Mr Young was “acting strangely” and he was eventually dropped off at his parents’ house at 2am.

Mrs Young told the hearing she voiced concerns to officers after being told her son had been handcuffed after trying to jump out of the car, and was told to contact police if there were any problems.

She said: “David got up a few times from the settee and went for a drink of water. I knew he wasn’t right because he looked at me the way he had done in the past when he was showing this paranoid way of thinking.

“He went to the sink for another drink but he came back with a kitchen knife and stood in front of his dad.”

Mrs Young said her son then cut his own throat with the knife.

She added: “He held his arms out and looked at me as if to say, ‘what have I done?’”

Mr Young then ran up the stairs and his father ran after him while Mrs Young frantically phoned for the police and an ambulance.

Mr Young was later pronounced dead at South Tyneside District Hospital.

Police staff described how they had seen Mr Young arrive at the station in Millbank, South Shields.

A recording was played of a 999 call he made, when he told the call taker he was at the station.

He was heard to say: “I’ve been taking drugs over the past weekend. I could be suffering from psychosis.”

At the station, Mr Young was sat with custody officer Margaret Muizelaar, rather than being left on his own, and was later seen by Joanne Mullarkey, a project worker for Turning Point.

She said she spoke to Mr Young about his drug use and his family life and asked if he wanted help, to which he said he did.

She said: “I asked if he was having any suicidal thoughts and he said no, he could never do that because it would upset his family.

“He said he had never self harmed before.”

* The inquest continues.

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki